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I. The name of this parish is variously spelt in ancient documents; and appears 
under the several forms of Cupir, Culpyre, Cypre, Cyprum, Cowpar, and Coupar. Its 
derivation though obscure and unknown, is obviously Celtic, and probably bore some 
reference to the ancient castle, or the rising ground on which it was situated. The 
modern parish is formed by the junction of the old parish of Cupar, and that of Tarvit, 
situated on the south side of the river Eden, which was the natural boundary between 
them. They were conjoined in 1618, in consequence of the smallness of the parish 
of Tarvit, and the proximity of even its farthest limit to the parish church of Cupar. 

The parish is situated in the centre of the eastern portion of the peninsula or county 
of Fife; and is only about nine miles distant from the sea which bounds the county on 
the north, east, and south. It contains the county town, which is therefore very conve- 
niently situated for the whole of the eastern district. But for the western district this 
is not the case, as the populous and manufacturing town of Dunfermline is upwards 
of thirty miles distant, whether taking the road by Kirkaldy or Kinross. The parish 
is bounded on the south by the parish of Ceres ; on the east by Kemback and Dairsie ; 
on the north by Dairsie, Kilmany and Moonzie; and on the west by Moonzie, Monimail, 
and Cults. Its form is rendered very irregular, from its boundaries being in many places 
deeply indented by some of the neighbouring parishes, particularly by Ceres, Dairsie, 
and Monimail Its length from north to south is about four and a quarter miles; and 
its greatest breadth from east to west about three miles. In some places its breadth 
is scarcely more than a mile. * 

Although there are no hills in the parish at all approaching to what is styled a moun- 
tain, yet its surface is beautifully diversified by hill and dale ; and from the number ot 
gentlemen's seats which it contains is richly ornamented by wood. The hills are cul- 

* Taken in an angular direction, from the south-west at Springfield to its farthest extremity beyond Foxton, its 
length is rather mere than five miles. 


tivated far up their heights, and are either green to the top or planted with useful 
and profitable timber. The vale in which the gentle Eden meanders slowly amid 
green and fertile banks, is of great and varied beauty; and nothing can be more en- 
chanting than to ascend one or other of the heights in the neighbourhood of Cupar, 
when the summer sun is about to drop into the west, and gaze upon the soft golden 
tinted loveliness presented by the how of Fife, which commences in the west at the 
base of the Lomond hills, and terminates to the east in the low grounds around St 

Nor are the natural beauties of this fine district its only charm. The parish of Cupar 
and the surrounding district is rich in localities connected with events, circumstances, 
or individuals never to be forgotten, and affording subjects of thought and reflection to 
even the most ordinary minds. From the top of Tarvit hill, or as it is now called 
Wemyss-hall hill, these objects attract our attention in every direction. In the distant 
west, at the bottom of the Lomond hills, we see all that remains of the royal palace of 
Falkland, where so many of Scotland's sovereigns of the Stewart race sought pleasant 
retirement from the cares of governing a turbulent kingdom, or of attempting to recon- 
cile the differences of a still more turbulent nobility. How often have these grey walls 
resounded with music and dancing? How often been the scene of hospitable feast, and 
long protracted, yet merry wassail? Over these fields which skirt the Eden, then a 
royal forest, our ancient kings followed the chace with hound and horn, or flew the 
hawkat its winged prey. At one time the only sound heard throughout these forest 
glades was the wild buck's bell, or the call of the various birds which then fre- 
quented them to their mates ; at another they were the scene of mirth and sport. 
There the proudest names in Scotland's history followed their prince in peaceful and 
animating sport. There beauty took the field, hawk on arm, and knightly valour bowed 
subservient to its influence. But alas! Falkland palace was not always a scene of joy; 
we think on James IV., James V., and the beautiful Mary, and we think of crime, of 
folly, of misery, captivity, and early death ! 

Nearer us, in the same direction, appears the manse of Cults. There the great 
painter of our age, the poetic yet graphic Wilkie, was born and spent his early years. 
Amid these gently sloping hills and sweet valleys, he studied nature, and imbibed that 
love of truth and simplicity which he has since, so beautifully in some instances and so 
grandly in others, developed. Still nearer us in the same direction is the ancient tower 
of Scotstarvet. There resided Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet one of the directors of the 
Chancery in the reign of Charles I., who was, says Nisbet, "a bountiful patron of men 
of learning, who came to him from all quarters, so that his house became a kind of 
college."* Among others, he encouraged Pont in his survey of the whole kingdom, 
gave him great literary assistance, and was at the expense of the publication; and in 

* Heraldry, vol. 2, Appendix, p. 2P3. 


yonder old tower he wrote his curious work, " Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet's Staggering 
State of Scots Statesmen." Along the slope of this hill, under the duke of Chatelherault 
and M. D'Ovsel, lay at one time the army which was intended by Mary of Guise to crush 
the efforts of the reformers. On the opposite bank were stationed those who had 
determined to die rather than that popery should longer lord it over the consciences 
of men ; and on this hill, where we now stand, the treaty was subscribed, which, though 
soon broken through by the queen regent, gave time to the reformers, and ultimately 
led to the establishment of the presbyterian religion in Scotland. 

To the north rises the Mount, the patrimonial possession of " Sir David Lindsay, of 
the Mount, lord Lyon king-at-arms," during the reign of James V. ; and there he wrote 
those bitter biting satires which delighted the people, and paved the way for the re- 
formation. The house in which he lived has now disappeared, but the place is still 
interesting, and the hill is now crowned with a monument erected to the memory of 
the late earl of Hopeton, one of the deliverers of Europe from the all-grasping power 
of the late emperor of the French. Almost immediately below us is the school hill of 
Cupar, a portion of which formed the play-field of the burgh, and there the dramas of 
Sir David Lindsay were exhibited, so early as 1535. At a far earlier period, however, 
when the castle of Cupar was the residence of Macduff, the lord or Maormore of Fife, it 
was the scene of that horrid tragedy, the murder of his wife and children by Macbeth, which 
led to the inveterate hatred of Macduff, and finally to the establishment of Malcolm 
Ceanmore on the throne; and of which the poet has made such a beautiful use in his 
play of Macbeth. To the east upon the sea coast is the venerable city of St Andrews, 
the seat of an ancient bishopric, and the earliest seat of learning in Scotland. With 
how many great names of Scotland are these hallowed ruins associated ! And how 
intimately connected is its history with the early civilisation and improvement of our 
country ! 


To the south beyond the vale of Ceres is Craighall, the seat of Sir Thomas Hope, 
king's advocate to Charles I., and one of the greatest lawyers of his time. In Ceres 
churchyard repose in peaceful silence many of the proud race of Lindsay of the Bvres, 
and some of the kindred race of Crawford. There is the grave, although the spot is 
now unmarked, where rests that rude lord, who, when the unfortunate Mary hesitated 
to sign her abdication, did not scruple to crush her gentle hand with his iron glove, 
nor to force her by rude speech and still ruder threats, unwillingly to execute the deed 
which deprived her of a crown, and consigned her for the rest of her life to a prison ; 
and a little to the east in the same valley lies Pitscottie, the residence of Lindsay the 
homely yet picturesque relater of a portion of Scotland's history. In a word we know 
no place more capable of calling up more varied recollections, or of elevating the mind 
and exciting the fancy, than the top of Tarvit hill. 

II. The town of Cupar is pleasantly situated on the north bank of the Eden where 
it is joined by a small rivulet called St Mary's or the Lady burn; and nearly in the 


centre of the parish. It contains three principal streets, viz., the Cross-gate lying south 
and north, the Bonnygate which lies east and west, and St Catherine street, forming 
a continuation in the same direction ; and several lanes or alleys, which branch off from 
them. In the leading streets the houses are all of comparatively modern erection, are 
well built of stone, and slated ; the shops are many of them handsomely fitted up, the 
others neat and clean; and the public buildings, though not numerous, are not inelegant 
in their front elevations and substantially constructed. Lying in the sweet valley of 
the Eden, bounded on the north and south by gently sloping hills, the town of Cupar 
has an interesting appearance whether viewed from a distance or examined in detail. 

The engraved view of the town gives a very correct idea of its appearance when ap- 
proached from the east. This view is taken from the Cart haugh, a small public green 
on the banks of the Eden, belonging to the town, and preserved for the use of the inha- 
bitants. In the centre, rising above some of the houses, is seen the spire of the church, 
and to the left of it, a portion of St Catherine street, in which the front of the county 
buildings appears. The building which forms the opposite side of the street, is the 
Episcopal chapel with its pointed windows ; and farther to the left, on the top of a 
rising ground — the castle hill — is the buildings of the academy. To the extreme right 
is the gaol, or county prison, situated on the other side of the river Eden. 

Standing on a dry soil in the bottom of the valley, not more than 25 feet above the 
level of the sea, the town is considered peculiarly healthy; and while it is well sheltered 
from the storms which assail more elevated places, the air is bracing and salubrious. 
In confirmation of this the late Reverend Dr Campbell in his Statistical Account of the 
parish, says, that "attracted by the healthful situation of the vale in which the town 
stands, our kings when they lived at Falkland, had the family nursery at Cupar, and 
the royal children had apartments fitted up for them in the religious house belonging 
to the Benedictines adjoining to the castle." Dr Campbell also relates, in corrobor- 
ation of this, several well authenticated instances of great longevity among the inhabi- 
tants of Cupar. "In the register of burials," he says, "is the following entry: buried 
21st December, 1757, lady Denbrae, aged 107. She had been one of the celebrated 
beauties who graced the court of the duke of York when he resided at Holyrood ; but 
from the most accurate investigation, it does not appear that she was more at her death 
than 99 years of age. James Wemyss esquire of Winthank,* who was born in 1696, 
died in 1793, in his 98th year. Through life he had been an early riser, and was fre- 
quently on horseback. He was no enemy to the free circulation of the glass, though 
upon the whole temperate and regular. He retained his faculties in an extraordinary, 
degree to extreme old age. When upwards of 90, he regularly read several hours 
each day, and was able to converse distinctly on the subjects of his study." He was 
married to Barbara Balfour, daughter of John Balfour of Kinloch, the well-known 
Burleigh of Sir Walter Scott. The venerable Sir Robert Preston, minister of the 

* He was grandfather of the present proprietor of Wemyss-hall, Janus Wemyss, esquire. 


first charge of Cupar," continues Dr Campbell, "died in 1791, having completed the 
61st year of his ministry. Mr Miller of Star, and Mr Melville of Kilmaron, died 
lately at the age of about 90. About ten years ago, there were living in the town 
five men above the age of 90 ; one of these, Walter Douglas, had been town drummer 
74 years, and died in his 97th year. His brother died at nearly the same age."# 
That the town still continues to be as healthy, and its climate as favourable to longe- 
vity, we have the evidence of the Rev. Mr Birrell, who, in the last Statistical Account 
(1836,) says, "there seems to be no particular disease incident to the parish And 
while there are some instances of extreme old age in it — two or three persons upwards 
of 90, and one above 100, — there are many of an almost youthful vigour at the ad- 
vanced period of three score and ten, and four score years."! 

III. As a royal burgh Cupar boasts of very great antiquity. The earliest charter 
preserved is granted by Robert II., and is dated at Dunfermline, the eleventh year of 
his reign (1382); it confers the right of a harbour and free port at the water of Motray, 
a small stream which falls into the Eden below the Guard bridge. But the ori- 
ginal constitution of the burgh must be much more ancient, though the charters do not 
now exist. Sir Robert Sibbald says, that he saw " the commissioners of the burgh of 
Cupar in the rolls of parliament of the reign of king David II. ;| and it is probably one 
of the oldest in Scotland. In 1369 a long existing dispute between the burgesses of 
Cupar, calling themselves the fratres gilde, and the bishop of St Andrews and his bur- 
gesses, as to the right of the latter to buy and sell within the burgh, was decided against 
the men of Cupar, and the burgesses of St Andrews were found entitled to buy and sell 
wool, skins and hydes, and other articles of traffic there, notwithstanding the exclusive 
privileges of the fratres gilde. $ In 1428 James II. granted a charter to the burgh con- 
firming its very extensive privileges, its right to trade over a very large district of the 
county, and of a free port at the water of Motray. || In the year 1437 James granted 

* Statistical Account, Vol. 17, p. 155. t -New Statistical Account, Parish of Cupar, p. 2. 

I History of Fife, p. 398. § Chalmers' Caledonia, note, p. 780. 

|| By this charter James confirms to their provost, baillies, burgesses, and community of our burgh of Cupar in 
Fife, the said burgh in free royal burgage, with liberty of common guild, cross, market and market dayin the week, 
and of buying and selling, and also with their bounds old and divided, belonging to the said burgh, viz., beginning at 
the water of Kemback, as it runs into the water of Eden, and so towards the south at the Callange and Dunikier- 
law, and to the water of Largo and to one of the marches between the said burgh and our burgh of Inverkeithing. 
viz., the Homyl stane in the water of Leven where the sea ebbs and Hows, and ascending the said water of Leven 
unto the standing stane, one of the marches between Perth and Inverkeitliing, at the mill of Forth, and so towards 
the north at the church of Arngask and cross Macduff, and descending to the river Tay, and so on this side to the 
mouth of the water of Eden aforesaid, and ascending the said water of Eden to the said burgh of Cupar. Saving 
the liberties and rights of regality of the church and city of St Andrews and monastery of Dunfermline, every where 
within these said limits and bounds made and granted by our predecessors in times past. Moreover, we grant to the 
foresaid provost, baillies, and community the tron, with the port of Motray, and free ish and entry to the said 
port usual, and with full liberty within the said port and water of Eden, as the sea ebbs and flows, of livering and 
lading their ships with their merchandize, without any impediment or obstacle whatsoever. To be holden and 
for to hold the said burgh of Cupar by the aforesaid provost baillies, and community, and their heirs and sue- 


to the town the right of holding a public fair or market at Martinmas yearly, instead 
of one previously held at the village of Strathmiglo, which was ordered thenceforth to 
be discontinued. Other charters were granted by James V. and James VI. to the 
burgh, but in none of them have we any relation of earlier charters, or any data to as- 
certain the original constitution of the burgh. Yet it is certain it is much older than 
the oldest of its existing charters, and probably dates as far back as the twelfth cen- 
turv, having received its charter from Malcolm IV. or his brother William the Lion. 

As a town it existed even earlier. The castle on the school-hill was the residence 
of the ureal Macduff, had been that of his ancestors, and continued to be that of his 
descendants for a long period. On the Moot hill the lord of Fife held his county and 
baronial courts; and it is obvious that this, with the desire of obtaining the protection 
of the castle, would cause the followers and retainers of the earls to build their dwell- 
ings in the neighbourhood. The castle, surrounded by the marshy grounds which 
bordered the Eden and St Mary's burn, was anciently a place of considerable strength; 
and during the struggles with Edward I. and his successors for the independence of 
Scotland, it sustained several sieges, of which an account has already been given in the 
introductory historical sketch. In the beginning of the thirteenth century a monastery of 
Dominicans or Black Friars was founded and endowed by Malcolm, earl of Fife, the sixth 
in succession from Macduff. It belonged originally to the isle of May, but was after- 
wards gifted to the priory of St Andrews. This monastery was situated at the foot of 
the castle hill, part of the houses which form St Catherine street having been erected 
on its site. This institution existed to the period of the reformation, and there is little doubt 
that in the earlier part of its existence, it tended to the advantage of the town, and to 
the increase of the small traffic then existing. At the reformation, the buildings of 
the monastery and the yard which surrounded them, appear to have passed into the 
possession of the laird- of Balgarvie ; and what remained of the chapel was lined up 

cessors, in too and heritage for ever, by all the rig-In meithesand marches aforesaid, old and divided, in waters and 
-tanks, with the two mills on the water oi Eden, which are situate near the said burgh, and their multures and 
sequels in hushes, paths, meadows, gra: ings, and pasturages, with their proper muirs and mosses, with the courts 
ol the said burgh, and issues of the same, with the lesser customs, tolls, rents, and annual revenues of burgage 
property, as also with all and sundry liberties, commodities, and just pertinents whatsoever, belonging or justly 
tnown to belong to the said burgh, any manner of way in time coming, as well within as without the said burgh, 
fully, freely, quietly, honourably and entirely, well and in peace. &C. Paying from thence to us. and our heirs 
the provost, haillies. and community aforesaid, their heirs and successors, the sum of twenty-six merks usual 
j of our kingdom, at the feasts o{ Pentecost and St Martin in winter, by equal portion- .inly, for all other 
service, exaction, or demand, which may be asked or required from the said burgh and mills, with the pertinents. 
to us and our heirs the great customs of the said burgh, with the service of burgh used and wont." It is 
not to he understood, as some have inferred, that this charter either confirmed or conferred on the magistrates o\ 
Cupar any civil jurisdiction over the extensive tract of country described in it. hut merely gave the burgesses an 
\ lusive tight of traffic within the district, saving always the rights conferred on the Archbishop of St Andrews 
and the monastery of Dunfermline. 

* The Moot hill is said by Sibbald to he also called the Cam hill. Cam in the Celtic means crooked, and this 
name is very descriptive of the long winding ridge of which the school hill also forms a part. 


h\ them, with some additions, as a mansion house, which they styled Balgarvie house. 
The remains of the chapel of the monastery and Balgarvie house, which was rather 
an elegant building, were removed at the time St Catherine Street was opened up.* 
The last resident in Balgarvie house was the Lady Elizabeth Anstruther. 

Cupar continued the seat of the court of the stewardry of Fife, as well as that of the 
sheriffs courts, until after the forfeiture of the duke of Albany, earl of Fife, in the reign 
of James I. when the steward's court was removed to Falkland, where it continued to 
be held until the abolition of heritable jurisdictions in 1748. This court was very early 
distinguished from that of the sheriff. The steward's jurisdiction extended over that 
portion of the county which formed the patrimonial estates of the earls of Fife ; the sheriffs 
jurisdiction included the remaining portion of the county. The number of nobility and land- 
ed gentlemen who formerly had dwelling houses in the town, must also have been of ad- 
vantage to it in its earlier stages before manufactures were cultivated to the extent they 
now are. Among the noblemen who resided in Cupar, were the earl of Crawford, the 
earl of Rothes, and the lord Balmarinoch. The earl of Crawford's house was in the 
Bonny-gate, upon the property now belonging to the heirs of the late Mr ThomasWilson ; 
the earl of Rothes' stood on the ground called the Barony, near the Mill-gate Port; and 
the lord Balmarino's in the Bonny-gate, now the residence of Mr Cameron. The Knights 
Templars had four tenements within the burgh; two in the Cross-gate, one in the Bonny- 
gate, and one in the Kirk-gate. The annual rent or feu duties of these temple tene- 
ments belonged anciently to the chaplainry of St Ninians, founded within the kirk of 
Ceres, and were afterwards bought by the family of Hope of Craig-hall, along with the 
patronage of the chaplainry. Sir Thomas Hope, king's advocate, in 1631, mortified 
these annual rents, and 100 marks additional, for behoof of the school-master and 
reader, to be presented by him and his successors at the kirk of Ceres. 

Like most other towns Cupar had its play-field, and its Bow-butts. The play-field was 
a part of the Castle-hill to the north of the walls of the Castle. There the monks of the 
Dominican convent and others performed those theatrical representations called Myste- 
ries or Moralities; and there, at an after period,! "the pleasant satire" as it is called 
of Sir David Lindsay, " the Three Estates" was performed.! 

* The site of the monaster)' although within the ancient royalty, appears to have been from favour to the monks 
exempted from the jurisdiction of the magistrates, and from privileges of the guildry and trades of the burgh. 
The inhabitants of the houses, in St Catherine Street, built on this hill, still claim their exemptions, and they have 
not hitherto been disputed. 

f 1535, which was five years before it was performed at Linlithgow in presence of the court. 

t This play had been often subsequently performed on the play-field at Cupar. Arnot, in an Appendix to his 
History of Edinburgh, gives a curious account from a manuscript copy of the Three Estates, which had been in the 
possession of David Garrick. It begins thus " Here begins the proclamation of the play made by David Lindsay 
of the Mount, knight, in the play-field, in the month of the year of God 1555 years. 



Before it was encroached upon by buildings and gardens, the play-field was a large 
green hill of much natural beauty, and evidently formed a portion of the ridge, the 
highest point of which is the Moot-hill. The Bow-butts were situated on the ridge of 
the rising ground on the north side of the Lady-burn, immediately opposite the Castle- 
hill ; and until recently, when the ground was converted into gardens and partly built 
upon, the small knolls upon which the marks to be shot at had been placed, were quite 
visible. There the ancient inhabitants of Cupar practised archery, in obedience to the 
many acts of parliament on the subject; an art, however, in which the English always 
excelled the Scotch, notwithstanding the exertions of the government on the subject ; 
and there the customary Wapen-schaw or show of arms of the burgesses yearly took 

During the residence of our kings in Scotland, Cupar often received visits from 
royalty. Almost all the James', and the unfortunate Mary, repeatedly visited it, and 
were entertained within the town. The last royal visit was made by Charles II. on 
the 6th of July, 1650, when on his way from St Andrews to Falkland. He was en- 
tertained at dinner by the magistrates in the town hall; then forming part of the 
tolbooth or gaol. " He came to Cowper," says Lamont, " where he gatt some desert 
to his foure houres : the place where he satte doune to eate was the tolbooth. The 
towne had appointed Mr Andro Andersone, scholemaester ther for the tyme, to give 
him a musicke songe or two, while he was at table. Mr David Douglysse had a speech 
to him att his entrie to the towne. After this he went to Falklande all night. All 
this tyme the most part of the gentelmen of the shyre did goe alonge with him."* 

From an ancient plan of the town, 1642, lately engraved from the original in the 
Advocates' Library, by the Abbotsford Club, it appears that Cupar had anciently gates 
or ports. One of these stood at the west end of the Bonny-gate, called the West Port, 
one at the middle of the Lady Wynd, called the Lady Port, one below the Castle, called 
the East Port, one at the bridge, called the Bridge Port, one at the Mill-gate, called the 
Mill-gate Port, and another at the end of the Kirk-gate, called the Kirk-gate Port. 
It is curious to observe, from this plan, how little alteration has since taken place in 
the streets of the town ; and that the names of both streets and lanes are still the 
same they then were. The principal alteration, with the exception of buildings in the 

Proclamation made in Cupar of Fife : — 

Our purpose, on the seventh day of June, With good stark wine your flagons see you fill. 

If weather serve, and we have rest and peace, And had yourselves the merriest that you may. 

We shall be seen into our playing place. Cottager. — I will be there with God's grace. 

In good array, about the hour of seven. Though there were never so great a price, 

Of thriftiness that day I pray you cease, And foremost in the fair, 

But ordain us good drink against all even. And drink a quart in Cupar town. 

Fail not to be upon the castle-hill, With my gossip John Williamson, 

Beside the place where we propose to play, Though all the world should rair. 

* Diary, p. 20. 


suburbs, is the taking down of the old Jail and Town-house at the Cross, and opening 
up St Catherine Street. Where the markets are still held, opposite the Townhouse, 
at the junction of Cross-gate and Bonny-gate, the ancient cross of Cupar once stood. 
It was an octagonal building, with a round pillar rising from it, surmounted by a uni- 
corn, the supporter of the royal arms of Scotland. When the Jail was taken down, 
this structure was also removed, and at the request of Colonel Wemyss, the pillar was 
presented to him, when he caused it to be re-erected on the top of Wemyss Hall- 
hill, where it still remains marking the spot on which the famous treaty between 
Mary of Guise and the Lords of the Congregation was subscribed. 

Dr Campbell says that the Parish of Cupar contains little to interest the antiquary ; 
but still, though there may be other localities, affording a richer harvest to the mere 
collector of antiquities, there are many things worthy of note besides those ancient 
reminiscences to which we have already alluded. The Dr informs us that a cairn of 
stones on the heights of Middlefield, about a mile north-east of the burgh, had been 
opened shortly before he wrote. It was found to contain " several urns of baked clay, 
containing ashes of the ancient inhabitants. Several instruments of warfare were also 
found. The heads of the battle-axes were formed of a very hard stone, of a white 
colour, neatly shaped, and nicely carved and polished." * These interesting relics were 
obviously those of the Picts, or the more early Celts, their ancestors, who previously 
inhabited the district ; it is to be regretted that there was no society at the time to pre- 
serve these curious remains, as far as they could be preserved. " The spot," Dr Camp- 
bell adds, " where these tumuli had been formed, seems from the remains of ramparts 
that had surrounded it, to have been in some remote period, a military station of con- 
siderable importance."! It was no doubt one of those stations which the ancient in- 
habitants found it necessary to fortify for their protection, from the attacks of trouble- 
some neighbours, and the place may have been the site of some of those battles which 
was the result of their continual state of warfare. " In levelling a piece of ground," he 
continues, " to form the turnpike road that leads to the east, there were lately found 
in the vicinity of the Castle-hill several stone coffins, containing human skeletons. The 
coffins were adorned with figures of warriors rudely sculptured, and covered with un- 
known characters." These, though probably very ancient, were obviously the relics 
of a more recent age, than those which were found at Middlefield. 

More recently, at the time St Catherine Street was formed, some stone coffins were 
also found containing human skeletons, near the spot where the monastery stood. 
From the length of the thigh bones of one of the skeletons, the person must have been 
of gigantic size ; the skull also was of enormous size.f In removing the rubbish when 
forming St Catherine Street, many English and French coins of considerable antiquity 

* Statistical Account, p. 158. t Ibid. 

J It was presented to Dr Fleming, then Minister of Risk, a very distinguished naturalist, now a Professor at 


were found ; and at the time St Catherine Street was opened up, a few coins were also 
found. These were no doubt relicts of a period when the Castle was held or besieged by the 
English or the Scotch. Between twenty and thirty years ago, when taking down an 
old house at the west end of the Bonny-gate, a great number of old coins were found 
in one of the walls, they were principally of the reigns of Mary and James VI., and 
probably had been concealed during the troubles which followed these reigns. Not 
many years ago, in digging a grave in the church-yard, a great many silver coins were 
turned up, of the reigns of Mary, Elizabeth, and James VI. They had been enclosed 
in a wooden box, which was quite decayed, and had been concealed probably for the 
same reason. 

IV. The parish church of Cupar, of old, belonged to the priory of St Andrews. The 
present church stands in the Kirk-gate Street or Lane, which runs from the north side 
of the Cross-gate, towards the north-west ; and nearly in the centre of the parish. It 
was built in 1785, and though large and commodious, is in the meagre and miserable 
style of architecture, which prevailed towards the close of last century. It was 
originally erected to contain 1196, but by subsequent alterations it now accommodates 
1300. The church of Cupar originally stood at some distance from the town, to the 
north, at a place formerly called the "Old Kirk Yard." In 1415, this building had 
become ruinous, and in that year the prior of St Andrews erected within the burgh a 
new church for the better accommodation of the inhabitants.* This date is proved 
by an extract given by Sibbald, from the Black Book of Paisley. " The Black Book 
of Paisley, and other monastery books," he says, "tell us that anno 1415, "In Cupro 
de Fyfe fundata est nova parochialis ecclesia, quae prius distabat a burgo ad plagam 
borealis." This appears to have been a magnificent structure in the pointed style, with 
a tower at its western extremity. Its length is said to have been 133 feet, its breadth 
54 feet. The roof, which was of carved oak, was supported internally by a double 
row of pillars in the pointed style, which formed it into a central nave, and two side 
ailes. It had been very finely decorated with carved work, but little of this ornamental 
work which survived the Reformation, was preserved after the final demolition of the 
building in 1785. One piece of carved oak in the possession of Thomas Shaw, Esq., 
writer, Cupar, formed a panel in the front of the precentor's desk. Within a circular 
wreath of flowers is the figure of a man in robes playing on the lyre, and around on a 
scroll, the motto " Soli deo honor et gloria." It is much to be regretted that this fine 
old building was taken down to make room j for the present inelegant one, and 
still more that when this was done, no drawing of it seems to have been preserved. 
The demolition of the church is not very easily explained, even on principles of 
economy, because, although the roof had become decayed, and required to be re- 
newed, the walls were perfectly sufficient ; and were, indeed, stronger than those of 

* Sibbald's Hist, of Fife, p. 309. 


the building which replaced it were thought necessary to be made. The tower and 
spire, however, have been preserved, and from their beauty and situation, are a 
great ornament to the town in the distant prospect; but on a closer inspection the 
spectator is much disappointed when he finds that the church has no beauty in itself, 
no uniformity in design with the steeple, and is not even connected with it, except by 
part of the old wall of the church, which had been preserved for the purpose of form- 
ing a session-house. The tower was erected at the time the church was built, in 
1415, but the spire which surmounts it was not erected till about the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, when it was built at the expense of Mr William Scott, then 
minister of the parish. * He was a descendant of the family of Scott of Balweary,was 
possessed of a considerable estate; and died in the year 1642, in the eighty-fifth year 
of his age. He is said, by Dr Campbell, to have been a great favourite with archbishop 
Spotiswoode. In the church-yard, there is a monument which was erected to Mr 
Scott, soon after his death. It is said to have been executed in Holland, and must 
have been considered handsome according to the taste of the time. The inscription 
has disappeared, and the monument itself is hastening to decay. It seems highly 
probable that Mr Scott, besides erecting the spire, presented to the parish two of 
the four silver communion cups still used on sacramental occasions ; because on one 
of them are the initials w™ , which we are inclined to think are his initials. These cups 
are obviously ancient, and are very elegantly chased and ornamented. The other two 
which are also alike, are considerably larger, but not so finely ornamented. On one 
of these cups there is an inscription very rudely engraved, and in very bad Latin, 
stating that the cup had been bequeathed to the church of Cupar, by James Litiljohn, 
who is there styled "vice comitatis," or sheriff- depute, of the county of Fife ; and on the 
other is the following, " Johne Mortmur, Bvrges of Cowpar, did dedicat this coup." 
These cups have both been presented at one time as they are precisely alike ; and in 
all probability this was done shortly after the others had been presented. Lamont 
mentions! that in 1654, James Litiljohn, in Cupar, was appointed clerk of the burgh; 
in mentioning the Cess paid by the county in 1 658, he uses the following expression : — 
" And for the clerke of the shyre, viz. Ja. Littelljohn, clerk of Cupar, his fies 4d ;" and 
he afterwards informs us that James Litiljohn, clerk of Cupar, died Sept. 1658.| 
Although only mentioned in Lamont by the titles of sheriff-clerk, and of clerk of Cupar, 
it seems certain that this was the person who gifted the cup, and that he had been styled 
sheriff-depute on the cup, either from his own vanity, or by mistake. Besides the great 
altar, and the Lady's-chapel, there was during catholic times, at least, one other altar- 
age or chaplainry in the church of Cupar, which was dedicated to St James. A niche 

* There are two bells in the steeple, one of them weighing 1000 lbs. ; the other much smaller. The following 
is the inscription on the larger bell, " I was made for Coupar Kirk, 1485, inlarged, Hi 10, Mr Will. Scott. Mi 
Refounded at Ed'., 1747, by Ormston and Henderson, Mr George Boes, and Mr John Ballingal, Mine™. The 
weight 1000 lbs. 

t Diary, page 65. J Ibid. p. 107. 


on the outside of the east wall of the church, points out the place where this altarage 
had stood. 

Within the church in a niche in the west wall, is a monument said to be erected 
to Sir John Arnot, of Fernie, who fell in the last crusade. It presents the recum- 
bant figure of a knight in armour, with his feet resting on a lion, in the act of devouring 
a sheep. It is well executed for the period; but the position of the legs, does not in- 
dicate, as has been supposed, his having taken up the cross, or been engaged in a cru- 
sade. The monument is unquestionably, however, that of one of the knights 
of Fernie, who were constables of the Castle of Cupar, under the earls of Fife. 
This office was conferred upon them by Duncan, earl of Fife, who died 1203 ; 
and was retained by the family till the seventeenth century, when it was purchased 
from them by the town of Cupar.* On the same wall there is a neat marble 
tablet erected to the memory of the late Dr Campbell, one of the ministers of the 
parish, and author of the first Statistical Account, by his sons Sir George Campbell, 
of Edenwood, and Sir John Campbell, the present attorney-general of England. In 
the church-yard there is a plain upright stone to the memory of some of those who suf- 
fered during the reign of Charles II. It bears to have been " erected July 13th, 1792 ;" 
but this was only a substitution of a new stone in place of one which had formerly 
stood there, and had gone into decay.! 

The ministerial charge in Cupar is collegiate, and appears to have been so since the 
commencement of the seventeenth century, when Mr William Scott was minister. The 
Crown is patron to both charges. The present incumbents are the Rev. Adam Cairns, 
first charge ; the Rev. John Birrell, A.M., second charge. The stipends are eighteen 
chalders each, half meal, half barley, and L.10 each for communion elements. The 
first minister has a manse and garden, which was only provided after the decision of 
the court of session in the case of Ayr, but there is no manse for the second minister. 

* Their holding this office of constable of the castle accounts for their burial place being in Cupar church, 
while their estate lay in another parish. 

t This stone bears the following inscriptions, which are said to be the same as those on the stone which pre- 
viously existed. " Here lies interred the heads of Laur. Hay, and Andrew Pitulloch, who suffered martyrdom at 
Edinburgh, July 13th, 1681, for adhering to the Word of God, and Scotland's covenanted work of reformation; 
and also one of the hands of David Hackston, of Rathillet, who was most cruelly murdered at Edinburgh, July 
30th, 1680, for the same cause." On the other side is the following : — 

" 1680." 

" Our persecutors filled with rage, 

Their brutish fury to aswage 

Took heads and hands of martyrs off. 

That they might be the people's scoff; 

They Hackston's body cut asunder. 

And set it up a world's wonder 

In several places, to proclaim, 

These monsters gloried in their shame." 


The only glebe is a piece of land about three acres, which was got in exchange for the 
old kirk-yard, and which goes under the name of glebe for the first minister. 

The church of St Michael is situated at the west end of the Bonny-gate. It was 
erected by subscription in the course of the last year, in consequence of the want of ac- 
commodation in the parish church. By the present arrangement the clergymen preach 
alternately in the two churches. The sanction of the General Assembly has been ob- 
tained to this arrangement, and from the constitution granted by that venerable body, 
a certain number of seats are ordained to be set apart for the use of the poor. This 
constitution has been carried into effect, and in consequence numbers have been accom- 
modated with seats who were not so previously. While many seats have been let for 
little more than a nominal rent, others were offered gratis to the poor ; it is worthy of 
notice that all but mere paupers objected to receiving seats without paying rent. The 
church is a handsome structure in the pointed style, with a portico, and a small belfry. 
The large window of stained glass is very elegant both in its proportions and its decor- 
ations. It is seated to accommodate 800 persons. 

Near, or upon part of the site of the ancient monastery, an Episcopal Chapel, dedi- 
cated to St James, has been erected. This is a very handsome structure, and is finish- 
ed internally with great taste. It possesses a small, but very fine toned organ. The 
present clergyman is the Rev. G. G. Milne, A.M. There are also in the town a chapel 
in connection with the united Associate Synod, the Rev. John Rankine, minister ; a 
Relief Chapel, the Rev. William Burnet, minister ; a second Relief Chapel, the Rev. 
Thomas King, Minister ; a Chapel connected with the Original Burgher Associate Synod, 
the Rev. William Elder, minister ; and a Chapel of Free Communion Baptists, Jonathan 
Watson, pastor. These buildings, though they do not boast outwardly any architectu- 
ral ornament, are conveniently fitted up within for the accommodation of the several 
congregations that attend them. 

The Town-house, which stands at the corner of St Catherine Street, and Cross-gate, 
opposite the market cross, is a plain, but neat building, surmounted by a copula and 
belfry. It contains shops on the street floor, and above them the Council-hall. The 
County-buildings, in St Catherine Street, present an agreeable, though unornamented 
facade ; and are sufficiently extensive and commodious within. They contain the 
County-hall, a very elegant and well-proportioned room, in which the county meetings 
are held ; a handsome Court-room in which the sheriff courts are held ; and excellent 
offices for the sheriff clerk, the fiscal of the sheriff court, the commissary clerk, and the 
clerk to the commissioners of supply. In the County-hall there is a fine portrait by 
Sir Henry Raeburn, of the late general, John, earl of Hopeton ; and another by Sir 
David Wilkie, of Thomas, earl of Kellie, lord lieutenant of the county. In the portrait 
by Raeburn, it is impossible but to admire the dignity and beauty of the principal figure, 
and the admirable manner in which the foreshortenine; of the horse on which he leans 
is managed ; in the other we are struck at once by the richness of the finely toned 


colouring, the strong marks of character which the countenance exhibits, the easy 
manner in which the drapery is arranged, and the truth and nature which pervades 
the whole. These paintings were executed at the expense of the gentlemen of the 
county, and have been placed in the Hall in testimony of their respect for the public 
services of these two eminent individuals. The Hall also contains a well painted por- 
trait of George II ; and two excellent portraits of George III. and Queen Charlotte, 
painted when their majesties were both young, by Ramsay, the son of the author of the 
" Gentle Shepherd." The two latter were presented by the late Earl of Leven and 

The Gaol is rather a handsome building, situated on the north bank of the Eden, op- 
posite the foot of St Catherine Street, which it was intended to ornament. Having a par- 
terre in front, and a garden behind, it has more the appearance of a gentleman's house, 
than a gaol, but unfortunately this is its only recommendation. Erected within the last 
twenty years, at the joint expense of the burgh and county, and costing L.3000, be- 
sides L.1000 expended in obtaining the act of Parliament, it has been found most unfit 
for the purpose intended, both from situation and construction.* At the time Mr Hill 
visited the prison he says it contained only seven prisoners, which he understood to 
be about half the usual number. The average number of prisoners throughout the 
year, he gives as 12h, viz.: — criminals 11, debtors II, and excise prisoners I. The 
average yearly cost of each prisoner he gives as about L.ll, 10s. 

The building for the accommodation of the Academy stands, as already mentioned, 
on the Castle-hill. It contains two flats, the lower of which only is used for the pur- 
pose of education. The upper flat was intended for a small theatre, and during the 
time that several French officers, prisoners of war, on parole, were resident in Cupar, 
it was fitted up and used for that purpose. Since their departure, however, it has not 
been since used in this way. Lectures are now occasionally delivered in it. Besides 
the principal building, there is an older building adjoining, which was the previous 
school-house, and is still used for some classes. The academy has the advantage of 
a considerable vacant space, which surrounds it, as a play-ground for the pupils. The 
only other public building in the town is the Mason Lodge, erected by the St John's 
Lodge of Cupar, in which they hold their meetings. It is a plain building in the Bonny- 
gate, having shops in the ground flat, and a good sized hall in the second floor. It is 
often used for concerts and exhibitions, by companies of strolling actors, and for meet- 
ings of the working classes. 

V. The burgh of Cupar is governed by a provost, three baillies, a dean of guild, and 
twenty-one councillors ; the council in all consisting of twenty-six members. The 

* Mr Hill, in his report on Scottish Prisons, says " It would be impossible, by any alteration, to render it even 
tolerably suitable as a place of confinement. In the only part of the prison which is secure, it is impossible to do 
more, by way of separation, than to keep the males apart from the females." He adds, " it has more the appear- 
ance of a gentleman's seat, than of a receptacle for persons who have injured society." 


councillors are chosen by persons paving L.10 of yearly rent, resident within the burgh ; 
and the council when chosen, elect the provost, baillies, and dean of guild. The reven- 
ues of the burgh were at one time considerable ; and the property the burgh possessed 
would now have been valuable. Dr Campbell says that Cupar was the most wealthy 
community in Fife, the revenue in his time being L.525 sterling. This is not now the 
case, however. For the year ending 14th October, 1837, the revenue was only L.220 
sterling, while the expenditure was L.280.* Since the passing of the general police 
bill, Cupar has taken advantage of its enactments, and commissioners are chosen who 
assess the inhabitants for lighting the streets. The streets are now therefore well lighted, 
at a moderate expense. The police commissioners, however, have no right to assess 
for anv other purpose than lighting; the sole burden of paving the streets, excepting a por- 
tion paid by the road trustees, of cleaning them, and preserving the public peace, coming 
upon the funds of the burgh, and being under the charge of the magistrates and council. 
The magistrates have the usual power as judges which magistrates of royal burghs 
have in Scotland. 

Cupar is conjoined in the election of a member of Parliament with St Andrews, 
Crail, Kilreny, east and west Anstruther, and Pittenween ; but previous to the reform 
bill it was rather anomalously associated with Perth, Dundee, Forfar, and St Andrews. 
St Andrews is now by the reform bill the returning burgh. t 

The guildry is the principal Incorporation in the town. This body consists of 
those who are entered as merchant burgesses ; and persons who have not entered with 
this body are not entitled to open shop within the burgh for the sale of articles of traffic. 
The members of this Incorporation are therefore the descendants of those /nitres ,nilde 
who, in 1361, disputed the right of the bishop of St Andrews or his burgesses, to traffic 
within the burgh. The funds of this Incorporation are not now of great consequence, 
having been some time ago seriously injured by the result of a law-suit in which they 
were involved, but what has been left is assigned to poor brethren, widows, and chil- 
dren. The guildry elect their own dean, who is the head of the Incorporation, and, previous 
to the passing of the late burgh reform bill, had a seat as such in the town council. He 
was also judge in the dean of guild court, in which all questions as to boundaries of 

* The expense of maintaining the prisoners in the Jail, which the burgh is obliged to do, is a very serious bur- 
den upon it in the diminished state of its funds. Yet it must do so, as the law at present stands, although but a 
small proportion of the criminals belong to it. 

f There appears to have been grumblers of old as well as now. In an ancient document, styled a Brief \ lewot 
Scotland in the Sixteenth Century, printed by Pinkerton, History of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 501, from a MS. in the 
Cottonian library, it is said, " Most borrows are at the devotion of some noblemen, as Cowper in Fifie managed 
by the earl of Rothes." Among those who represented Cupar in the Scottish Parliament, appears Sir David 
Lindsay of the Mount. He repeatedly was commissioner for the burgh ; and in particular, sat in the first parlia- 
ment after the death of James V., 1552-3, in which *' James, earl of Arrane" was declared " secund persoun of 
this realme, and nearest to succeede to the crone failzing of our souerane lady and governour of this realme. 
Robertson's Pari. Rec. p. 647. 



conterminous burgh property, right to make alterations on joint property, ordaining the 
removal of decayed houses, &c. were determined. In consequence of a clause in the 
burgh reform bill, however, the office of dean or head of the guildry of merchants, has 
been disjoined from the other powers of the dean of guild, and a new officer, called 
also dean of guild, elected from the town council, exercises the powers of a judge which 
the other formerly exercised. The most important office which the old dean of the 
guildry has now to perform, is being ex officio, one of the trustees for administering 
Dr Bell's legacy to the academy of Cupar. 

There are eight incorporated trades in the burgh, each enjoying the exclusive privi- 
lege of exercising their own peculiar handicraft within the royalty. There are the 
weavers, the hammermen, the bakers, the fleshers, the tailors, the shoemakers, the 
wrights and masons, and the waulkers. They choose yearly their own deacons, who, as 
heads of their several incorporations, had formerly a right to a seat in the town council, 
but of this they are now deprived by the burgh reform bill. With the exception of 
the weavers, who are possessed of property to the extent of about L.40 sterling yearly, 
none of the others possess any funds worth noticing. The hammermen some time ago 
divided any funds they had among their members ; and. the waulker incorporation may 
be considered as existing merely in name, that branch of business having become 
entirely extinct in the burgh. 

There are few benefit societies, and these, from being founded on improper princi- 
ples, are now of little use. The chapman's society, which is very ancient, is rich ; 
but from various circumstances, probably principally from the business having been dis- 
continued, and therefore no new members entering, the whole property is now in the 
hands of one or two individuals, who are the sole surviving members. The Gethse- 
mane lodge, the Olive lodge, and the Eden lodge, of free gardeners, are formed into bene- 
fit societies. The St John's lodge of free masons had at one time a benefit society 
connected with it, but it was some time ago dissolved and the funds divided. 

There are four masonic lodges in Cupar. St Johns, No. h ; St Regulus, No. 77 ; 
the Fifeshire militia; and the Thane of Fife. St Regulus lodge was constituted in 
1759, and ranked amongst its members a great part of the nobility and gentry of 
the county. Dr George Bethune of Kingask, was the first master, and was suc- 
ceeded by the earl of Elgin and Kincardine. While this nobleman was master of 
the lodge, he was elected grand master mason of Scotland, and St Regulus lodge, 
out of respect to him, appointed a deputation of their number to repair to Edin- 
burgh on St Andrew's day (1761), to attend him at his installation. f The mili- 

* On the 1 7th October, 1760, the St Regulus was honoured with a Grand Visit by David, earl of Leven, gi 
master mason of Scotland, accompanied by his wardens, and lord Aberdour, late grand master, James, earl of 
Errol, Alexander, earl of Galloway, also late grand master, and many other honourable and worshipful brethren 
from different lodges, holding of the grand lodge. On the 7th February, 1760, the lodge, as expressive of their 
loyalty and brotherly love, agreed to offer by advertisement, one guinea (besides the king's bounty) to every able- 
bodied volunteer that should after that date enlist with brother captain Thomas Horsburgh. On loth Feb., 


tary lodge was instituted in the Fifeshire militia when it was embodied, and is still 
kept up bv the staff. The Thane of Fife is a lodge of recent constitution, which 
still holds its meetings. There is also in Cupar a Royal Arch lodge ; and an en- 
campment of knights templars, — the Lomond grand encampment of knights templars, 
Cupar, No. 30. 

VI. The first bank was opened in Cupar in 1787. This was a branch of the 
bank of Scotland, which continued for a lung time to do business in the town ; and 
in 1792, the British Linen Company established their branch. In the early part 
of 1802, some gentlemen belonging to Cupar and its neighbourhood, commenced 
business as bankers, under the firm of the Cupar bank, and in the latter part of 
the same year, another company of gentlemen, began business under the name of 
the Fife bank. These two establishments continued to do business for some years, 
and it is not to be doubted that these two provincial hanks were of great benefit 
to the public while they existed. In 1814, however, the Cupar bank retired from 
business with slight loss to the partners, and without any loss to the public ; and 
in 1825, the Fife bank also gave up business without the public sustaining any 
loss, though to the very considerable injury of the partners. In 1812 the Commer- 
cial bank of Scotland established a branch. The only two banking establishments 
now, are the branches of the British Linen Company, Messrs Christie and Pagan, 
agents ; and the Commercial, William Drummond, Esq., agent. By these establish- 
ments the business is conducted with ease and advantage to the public. 

Some few years ago, a Savings' bank was established, but from the low rate of inter- 
est allowed it was not very successful. During the course of last year another has been 
established on the principle of giving national security ; several gentlemen in the town 
and neighbourhood, having subscribed in the meantime sufficient funds to defray the 
expense of conducting it. By this system a larger interest can be given for the 
money lodged, and, in consequence, the result has been very different. The deposits 
since its establishment, a period often months, amount to £2749, 19s. 3d. Of this sum 
only £279, 5s. 3d. sterling, has been drawn out during that period. 

VII. The principal manufacture of Cupar is that of weaving linen, and spinning linen 
yarn. There are three mills for the spinning of yarn within the parish. 1. Russell Mill. 

1761, the lodge resolved that their drink in their lodge, should, in time coming, be " whisky punch," as espressh e 
"of their love to their country, and public spirit." In this year, the lodge in respect St Regulus tower and 
chape] at St Andrews, were falling into decay bv want of care, agreed to contribute a sum to repair them, and 
a committee to wait upon the earl of Leven, in order to procure his interest with the grand lodge for 
istance. The lodge, after being carried on with great spirit for above forty years, fell into abeyance. It was. 
however, revived in 1»19, but the original charter having been amissing, a number of gentlemen in the town ap- 
plied to the grand lodge for a new charter, which was granted. About three years ago the old charter 
recovered, and, upon application to the grand ledge, the St Regulus was restored to its former place on the n i 
the grand lodge. On the 20th of May 1821, the St Regulus. out of respect to the memory of their patron saint, 
held a lodge in the chapel of St Regulus at Si Andrcv - 


George Moon, Esq. In this mill there are 600 spyndles. The sizes spun are various. 
About three-fourths of the quantity spun range from 3 1 lbs. per spyndle to 7 lbs. The 
other fourth from 10 lbs. to 24 lbs. The latter is principally used for the manufacture 
of sail cloth and bagging. The quantity of yarn produced is from 1500 to 1600 
spyndles per week, according to the size of yarn on which they may be engaged. The 
mill is driven by a water wheel on the Eden of 20 horse power ; but there is also a 
steam engine of the same horse power, which is used in summer, when the water is 
not sufficiently plentiful. The number of hands employed, men, women, and children, 
are about 80. The situation of these mills on the banks of the Eden, about two miles 
west of Cupar is exceedingly beautiful. 2d. The Cupar Flax Mills, William Smith, 
Esq. The number of spyndles in this mill is 336 ; the sizes of yarn spun varying 
from 3} lbs. per spyndle to 7 lbs. The quantity spun is 1000 spyndles per week. The 
only power used here is a water wheel on the Eden of 9 horse power. The 
number of persons employed, men, women and children, is 33. 3d. A mill at 
Lebanon, north-west of the town, Mr A. Glenday ; here besides yarn being spun, 
thread is twisted ; but the mill has been for some time only in partial operation, 
although we believe it is intended to be speedily resumed. The number of spyndles 
in this mill is 800 ; the sizes of yarn from 1 lb. to 7 lbs. The power used is a steam 
engine of 14 horse power. The quantity of yarn spun weekly, when it was in opera- 
tion, about 1300 spyndles; and the number of hands employed, about 70. About 200 
of the spyndles are employed in twisting thread. There are two yarn plash-mills in the 
parish, at which yarn intended for weaving brown linen is washed. The one of these 
is connected with Mr Smith's flax-mill, and is driven by a water wheel of 4 horse 
power. Here about 4500 spyndles of yarn are washed each month ; and three men 
are employed. The other plash-mill is connected with the mill at Lebanon ; it is 
driven by a water wheel of 8 horse power. 

The principal description of cloth made by the manufacturers of Cupar, is Dowlas, 
but Sheetings and Osnaburghs are also largely made. It would be difficult to ascer- 
tain with precision the quantity of cloth manufactured ; but it may be presumed to be 
about 20,000 webs or pieces of 136 yards at average, equalling 2,720,000 yards in the 
year. When Dr Campbell wrote his account of the parish, the quantity of yards of cloth 
usually stamped in Cupar in the course of a year, were about 500,000 yards ; but this 
was not all made by manufacturers in the parish of Cupar, as a portion of it was made 
in the surrounding country, brought in, and stamped, and sold in Cupar.* There are 
at least ten manufacturers in the parish who have their capital employed in the linen 
trade, t and there are not less than 600 looms in the parish, employed partly by the 

* When the law as to granting a bounty on linen existed, it was easy to give an exact account of the quantity 
manufactured in the parish ; but it is now only possible to make an approximation to it. The present amount of 
the manufacture we have given from the account of a friend well acquainted with the trade. 

t Rev. Mr Bin-ell's New Satistical Account, p. 12. 


Cupar manufacturers, and partly by those of Newburgh and other places. The Cupar 
manufacturers on the other hand, employ many weavers in other parishes, and send their 
yarn to be woven as far as Leven, Falkland, Auchtermuchty and Strathmiglo. In 1796 
there were only 223 looms in the parish. In the population report for 1831, it is stated 
that there were then 300 males employed in weaving in the parish, but that gave no 
idea of the number of looms then employed, as many of the weavers are females. From 
what has been stated, however, it will be seen that the linen trade is gradually increas- 
ing ; but this increase has been retarded, and would assuredly have been much greater, 
but for the long and expensive land carriage, from Dundee and Kirkaldy, whence the 
manufacturers receive the raw material, and where they ship their manufactured goods. 
This disadvantage, under which the town has always laboured, long ago suggested 
the idea of connecting Cupar with the sea, by turning the Eden into a navigable canal. 
This might have been done at comparatively trifling expense in consequence of the 
trifling elevation of the town above the level of the sea, and would have given Cupar 
all the advantages of a sea-port, but it is not now likely to be undertaken. It has lately 
been projected to carry a rail-road through the county, commencing at Burntisland or 
Kinghorn, passing Kirkaldy and Cupar, and terminating at Newport, with a branch 
to Newburgh. As this undertaking would be of the greatest benefit to the manufac- 
tures and agriculture of the whole of the inland portion of the county, it is to be hoped it 
will speedily be proceeded with, and completed. The greater portion of the linen goods 
manufactured in Cupar, are exported to the East and West Indies ; and to the con- 
tinents of Europe and America. 

Besides the linen manufacture, there are other branches of manufacturing industry 
carried on in the parish. The Cupar flour, corn, and barley-mills, are said to be the 
best in Fife. They are the property of John Inglis, Esq. of Colluthie, having been 
sold by the burgh to his uncle, the late John Inglis, Esq. The flour-mill contains three 
pair of stones for grinding the wheat ; and one pair used exclusively for scrubbing it 
previous to grinding ; there is one wire-cloth cylinder, and one bolting cloth engine by 
which the manufacture of the flour is completed. The corn-mill, for grinding oats, 
barley, and pease, contains three pair of stones. There are also here a malt and barley- 
mill, a thrashing-mill, and a machine for cutting straw. The power used for driving 
these is entirely the water of the Eden. There are five water wheels, amounting 
together to sixty horse power. Six men are constantly employed at the mills, and two 
additional hands are often necessary. There are two smaller corn-mills, also in the 
parish, one at Thomaston, and one at Tailabout ; both driven by the water of the 
Eden. Altogether this stream during its course through the parish is made available 
for driving machinery, to the extent of between 90 and 100 horse power. From the 
body of water which the stream contains, it might have been made useful to a much 
greater extent, had the fall been greater than it is. 

The remaining branches of manufacture arc a snuff-mill, possessed by Mr Smith, 



and driven by the same water wheel which drives his yarn-plash-mill, it contains eight 
tubs or grinding rollers, and manufactures 1000 lb of snuff weekly ;* a tan work where 
considerable quantities of leather is prepared ; a skinner's yard and glue work, where 
sheep-skin is dressed, and glue made ; three breweries, where excellent small and table 
beer are made ; a brick and tile work, a pottery for making coarse earthen ware, a 
rope work, and three establishments for the manufacture of machinery of various kinds. 

The gas work was erected in 1S30; and contains seven retorts, and two gasholders. 
The town is in consequence well supplied ; the quantity made during the winter 
months being from 2S,000 to 30,000 cubic feet per week. The streets, shops, warehouses, 
and other places of business, are all lighted with it ; and it has also been introduced into 
the greater portion of the houses of the more respectable inhabitants. The gas is in 
all cases burned by measure, and all persons using it are obliged to provide themselves 
with a meter, by which the quantity consumed is ascertained. The charge is fourteen 
shillings per 1000 cubic feet ; one cubic foot being calculated to burn an hour, with an 
ordinary five inch jet burner. Two private individuals in the parish, prepare gas for 
their own use ; Mr Moon, of Russell Mill, for lighting his works, and Mr Dingwall, at 

There are six quarries opened in the parish ; four of excellent sandstone, and two 
of green stone, used for road metal, building walls, and other ordinary structures. No 
lime or coal is found within the parish. 

VIII. Cupar has long been known as a leading and important market town.t There 
is a weekly corn market, which is held on Thursday, and is well attended. Besides 
these there are ten general fairs or markets for the sale of grain, and farm stock, held 
at different fixed periods throughout the year. At these, domestic utensils, agricultural 
implements, and various other articles are exposed to sale. Cupar is also a post town ; 
and has two sub-offices under it, those of Osnaburgh, and Leuchars. The mail from 
the south was formerly carried round by Perth and Dundee ; but by a recent arrange- 
ment, a mail coach carrying the bags for the towns north of the Tay, now passes through 
Fife, and brings with it the letters for Cupar direct. The coach also carries passengers 
between Edinburgh, Dundee, and Cupar. Two stage coaches pass through the town 
every lawful day, between Edinburgh and Dundee, affording with the mail every facility 
for intercourse with these important towns. Another coach leaves Cupar for Dundee, 
every market day ; and one between Cupar and St Andrews twice a week. During 
the summer months a coach runs to Largo, between which place and Newhaven a 
steam boat regularly plies. Carriers' carts leave Cupar regularly for the conveyance 

* Under a previous tenant a small steam engine was considered necessary, and accordingly was put up; but 
since Mr Smith became tenant, although the same quantity of work is done, this expense has been saved. The 
snuff is manufactured for dealers, not only in Cupar, but in all parts of Fife, and also in Dundee, Brechin, Forfar, 
and Montrose. 

t New Statistical Account, p. 12. 


of heavy goods to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, and all intermediate towns 
and villages. With these various advantages, well supplied with coal from different 
neighbouring parishes, possessing a good butcher market, a well supplied fish market, 
and numerous shops where every luxury, which either ths table or the person can 
require, we may well agree with the Rev. Mr Binvll in saving " that the inhabitants 
can boast of as many advantages, as are possessed in any town and parish of its size in 
the kingdom."* 

IX. Cupar contains a public library, instituted in 1797, which now contains 
considerably above 6000 volumes. It is supported by the annual subscriptions of the 
proprietors, and of occasional monthly or yearly readers. Many scarce and curious hooks 
were bequeathed to this library, by the late Dr Gray of Paddington Green, London. The 
lawyers of Cupar have begun recently to form a law library, which it is expected will 
soon become valuable to that body. There is also a circulating library kept by Messrs 
Gardner and Anderson, booksellers. There is a public news-room, supported by yearly 
subscription, where a well selected supply of the leading London and provincial journals 
is received, besides a few monthly publications. A mechanics' reading-room has also been 
recently in>tituted, in which the working classes are accommodated with newspapers at a 
very cheap rate. Two newspapers are published in the town ; one, the Fife Herald was 
begun in 1822, by the late Mr Robert Tullis, and at present advocates Whig principles; 
the other, the Fifeshire Journal, transferred from Kirkaldy about two years ago, is of 
conservative principles. Both are ably conducted journals. 

The Fifeshire Literary, Scientific, and Antiquarian Society has been recently formed, 
and, if properly conducted, will no doubt encourage the study of these different branches 
of learning. The objects which it has in view to cultivate are sufficiently explained by its 
name ; and we are happy to say, that although but of recent origin, many of the most 
talented and respectable noblemen and gentlemen of the county have become members of 
it, and have already begun to lend it their assistance, by preparing papers on different 
subjects to be read at its meetings. A Museum is now forming in connection with it, and a 
room in the county buildings has been, very handsomely, set apart for its reception. There 
is also a Phrenological Society, instituted for the cultivation of the science of phrenology. 
It possesses a small library and a good collection of casts for the use of the members. 

Previous to the commencement of the present century, the bookselling and stationary 
business was carried on by one family of the name of Henderson, who kept a small shop in 
town, and carried their goods to all the fairs and markets in the neighbourhood. About 
the beginning of the present century the late Mr Robert Tullis began business as a hook- 
seller, and latterly carried it on on a larger scale. There are now three booksellers' shops 
in the town, from whom all new publications can be received the same as they can be had 
in Edinburgh or London. A book club for the purchase of new books for the use of the 

* Now Statistical Account, p. 1 _>. 


members, and which are afterwards sold at slated periods, and of which Mr Robert Anderson, 
Bookseller, is the librarian, has been lately instituted. This is the first club of the kind 
which has been attempted in Fife ; and while it is useful and advantageous to the members, 
it is to be hoped it will form an example to other gentlemen of the county to form new 
associations of the same kind. 

The first printing establishment in Cupar was commenced by the late Mr Tullis, and 
although there had previously been one at an early period, in St Andrews, Mr Tullis's 
was for a considerable period the only one in the counties of Fife, Clackmannan, and 
Kinross. There are now six or seven printing establishments in the county, and as show- 
ing the increase of business in this department, it may be mentioned that we are assured, 
that, notwithstanding these additional competitors, the successors of Mr Tullis do as much 
business as he did. There are at present in Cupar two printing establishments, that 
of the successors of Mr Tullis, at which the Fife Herald is printed, and that of the pro- 
prietors of the Fifeshire Journal. At both of these, printing of every description is exe- 
cuted with neatness and accuracy.* 

* In connection with the press of Cupar, it would be a great neglect not to state that the late Mr Tullis was 
many years printer to the university of St Andrews; and as such printed the greater number of those famed, and 
it may be well said immaculate, editions of the Latin classics, edited by Professor Hunter of that university. It 
is not our duty at present to speak of Dr Hunter's excellence as an editor, or of the learning and exceeding good 
sense with which he executed this edition of the classics : but we speak only of the printer as connected with 
Cupar, and we believe we do not exaggerate when we agree with others in saying, that those printed by Mr Tullis 
" are particularly distinguished for their accuracy and for the elegance of their type." The following is a list of 
these valuable publications, the three first of which it will be seen were printed two at Perth and one at Edin- 
burgh : — 

Quinti Horatii Flacci opera ad lectiones probatiores diligenter emendata et varietate lectionis et notulis instruc- 
ta. Andreapoli, in aedibus Academicis excudebat Jacobus Morrison, Academia? typographus, 1797. 

Publii Virgilii Maronis opera ad lectiones probatiores diligenter emendata et interpunctione nova sa?pius illustrata. 
Andreapoli : in ^Edibus Academicis excudebat Jacobus Morrison, Academia? typographus, 1799. 

D. Junii Juvenalis et A. Persii Flacci Satira? : ad lectiones probatiores diligenter emendata; et intei-punctione 
nova sa?pius illustrata?. Edinburgh Excudebant J. Ballantvne et socii, 1806. 

C. Crispii Salustii qua 1 supersunt opera. Cupri in Fifa. typis Roberti Tullis, 1807. 

P. Virgihi Maronis Opera, ad lectiones probatiores diligenter emendata, et interpunctione nova ssepius illustrata. 
Cupri Fifanorum: Excudebat R. Tullis, Academise Andreana? tvpographus, 1817. 

Quinti Horatii Flacci opera ad lectiones probatiores diligenter emendata, et interpunctione nova sa?pius illustrata. 
Cupri Fifanorum : Excud. R. Tullis, Academic Andreana; typographus, 1813. Tomis II. 

C. Julii Csesaris de bello Gallico et Civili Commentarii. Accedunt libri de bello Alexandrine Africano, et His- 
paniensi e recensione Francisci Oudendorpii. Cupri: Excudebat R. Tullis. Academia? Andreana 1 rvposraphus, 
1814. Tomis II. 

Grammaticae Latinne Institutiones, faeili, et ad puerorum captum accommedata, methodo perscripta?, Thorn 
Ruddimani. Cupri Fifanorum. Excudebat R. Tullis, Academia? Andreana; tvpographus, 1818. 

T. Livii Historiarum Belli Punici Secundi Libri quinque priores ad optimas editiones castigati. Cupri Fifano- 
rum : Excud. R. Tullis, Academia? Andreana? typographus, 1814. 

Idem liber cum notulis, editio tertia, 1 820. 

Ruddiman's Latin Rudiments, with an appendix on the modes and tenses of the Greek and Latin verb. Cupa 
Fife : Printed and sold by R. Tullis, printer to the university of St Andrews, 1 820. 


X. It is rather singular that there is no appearance, from any record, of there ever 
having been, strictly speaking, a parochial school in the parish. There were, however, from 
an early period, two burgh schools which were under the patronage of the magistrates and 
council.* The salaries of the teachers were formerly paid from the funds of the burgh.+ For 

T. Livii Historiarum Libri quinque priores ad optimas editiones castigati (with notes critical and explanatory 
in English.) Cupri Fifanorum ; Excud. R. Tullis, Academia? Andreana? typographus, 1822. 

* One of the schoolmasters of this burgh school in the seventeenth century, Mr Robert Williamson, appears to 
have been a believer in the doctrines of the Rosicrucians ; and, at any rate, he seems to have been of opinion that 
he had met with some persons who had been initiated into the secrets of that mystic body. Lord Fountainhall, 
in his Collection of Decisions of the Court of Session, vol. 1. p. 15, gives the following account of the school- 
master's encounter with the disciples of the Rosy cross : — " As for the encounter betwixt Mr Williamson, school- 
master at Couper, (who has wrote a grammar*) and the Rosicrucians, I never trusted it till I heard it from his own 
son, who is at present (1678) minister of Kirkaldie. He tells, that a stranger came to Couper and called for him, 
after they had drank a little, and the reckoning came to be paid, he wliistled for spirits ; one in the shape of a boy 
came, and gave him gold in abundance, no servant was seen riding with him to the town, nor enter with him 
into the inn. He caused his spirits against next dav bring him noble Greek wine from the Pope's cellar, and tell 
the freshest news then at Rome ; then trysted Mr Williamson at London, who met the same man in a coach near 
to London bridge, and who called him by his name, he marvelled to see any one know him there, at last he found 
it was his Rosicrucian. He pointed to a tavern, and desired Mr Williamson to do him the favour to dine with 
him at that house, whither he came at twelve o'clock, and found him and many others of good fashion there, and 
a most splendid and magnificent table, furnished with all the varieties of delicate meats, where they were all 
served by spirits. At dinner they debated on the excellency of being attended by spirits, and after dinner they 
proposed to him to assume him into their society, and make him participant of their happy life ; but among the 
other conditions and qualifications requisite, this was one that they demanded, his abstracting his spirit from 
all materiality, and abandoning and renouncing his baptismal engagements. Being amazed at this proposal, 
he falls a-praying, whereat they all disappear and leave him alone. Then he began to forethink what would be- 
come him if he were left to pay that vast reckoning, not having as much on him as would defray it. He calls 
the boy, and asks what was become of these gentleman, and what was to pay? He answered, there was nothing 
to pay, for they had done it, and were gone about their affairs in the city. This relation his son affirmed to be 
truth." Besides the grammar mentioned by lord Fountainhall, Mr Williamson wrote a rather curious work, 
which he called " Psedagogia Moralis," printed at Edinburgh, 1635, a copy of which is among the books be- 
queathed by Dr Gray to the Cupar library. He appears to have been a little of a visionary, and in all probability 
was the object of a piece of waggery by some London wits, who thought it amusing to make the honest Scot 
believe that he had been left to pay " that vast reckoning." His son, the minister of Kirkaldy, had previously 
been, like his father, a teacher in the burgh school of Cupar. Of him Lamont has the following notice : " 1660, 
Sept. 17. Mr Andrew Andersone haueing left Cuper sch., was admitted scholemeaster of St Johnstone. He did 
succeid to Mr .... Patersone, brother to Mr Johne Patersone, lately regent at St Leonard's colledge. Oct. 29. 
Mr Jhone Williamsone did succeid to his charge, who at Mr Androw departure was doctor of the said schoole 
(Remember the said Mr Jhone's father was scholemeaster at Cupar, immediately before the said Mr Andrew's 
entrie ther.) This yowng man not haueing authoritie aneugh was put of his charge, and in Feb. 16G2, Mr 
Robert Killocke, scholemeast. at Fawckland, was admitted therto." Dairy, p. 127. Although not considered 
qualified to manage the school of Cupar, we have seen that Mr Williamson was afterwards minister of Kirkaldie : 
but he seems to have been peculiarly unfortunate, for he was outed in 1668, and formally deposed from the 
ministry - by the Synod in 1690. His name was James, not John, as stated by Lamont. 

t New Statistical Account, p. 15. 
» 11. Williamsonus Luilimagister Cuprtnsis, Gramatka Latins ex Despauterio et Linacro pracifue C< ncinnata, Edin. If 32, Bvo, 



the purpose of extending the system of education, and adapting it to more modern models, 
a subscription was entered into in 1823. An arrangement was then made between 
the magistrates and the subscribers, by which the former resigned their right of patronage, 
and agreed to be represented at the meetings of the managers of the academy by a certain 
number of their body ; to pay a proportion of the teachers' salaries along with the patrons ; 
and to grant the use of the buildings, which were their property, for the use of the academy. 
This arrangement still continues. There are three departments of teaching in the academy : 
English in all its branches ; ancient and modern languages, with geography ; and writing, 
arithmetic, and mathematics, in all their branches. 

The celebrated Dr Bell at his death, left the estate of Egmore in Galloway under 
trustees, viz.: the lord justice clerk, lord lieutenant of the county, the sheriff-depute of the 
county, the provost, the dean of guild, and the two parochial clergymen of Cupar, to be ap- 
plied for the purpose of education in Cupar on the Madras system, so long successfully prac- 
tised under his own direction. It seemed to be the desire of Dr Bell that his institution should 
be engrafted on the academy ; and it is the wish of the trustees as far as it is in their power 
to fulfil this desire. The arrangements, however, remain as yet incomplete ; but hitherto 
the academy has been conducted under the joint management of the original patrons, and 
Dr Bell's trustees. In the mean time the salaries of the masters are good, and the school 
fees small; and it is to be hoped when Dr Bell's valuable donation comes into full opera- 
tion, that the result will be most beneficial to the burgh. Dr Bell's trustees have opened 
besides the academy, three schools for the benefit of the industrious classes, where their 
children receive the benefits of education on the most moderate terms, and where the chil- 
dren of those who are totally unable to pay, upon proper application, receive their educa- 
tion gratis. There are also four female schools in the town. One of these schools is under 
the patronage of the magistrates and ministers as trustees of a legacy of £500, left by the 
late Dr Gray. There is also a general school in the town, which is unendowed, and 
wholly dependent upon the school fees. The cheapness of education, however, in the 
academy has very much injured such schools, by causing the fees to be too much lowered. 
There are two schools at Springfield, one under the patronage of David Maitland Makgill, 
Esq. of Rankeillor, who built the school house and endowed it for the benefit of that por- 
tion of the parish. The other is supported by the voluntary subscription of several of 
the inhabitants of Springfield. Although there is no school in the village of Glaidney, 
yet the children of the inhabitants have every opportunity from its proximity to the village 
of Ceres, of receiving education at the parish school there. " Under these circum- 
stances" says the Rev. Mr Birrell, "there is not a child in the parish of five years of age 
and upwards, but is able to read, or is at school acquiring that power." 

XI. At the time that Dr Campbell wrote, Cupar appears to have been much infested 
with beggars, although there were then only five belonging to the parish itself; "perhaps," 
says the Dr, "there is no town in Scotland of the same extent, where a greater number are 


daily seen infesting the streets." By the excellent system of county police, which has 
been organised as already mentioned by Mr Jamieson the Sheriff substitute, this nuisance 
has been abated ; and Cupar is now more free from street beggars than any other town we 
have had occasion to visit. It has never hitherto been necessary in this parish to resort to 
the compulsary system of assessment for the support of the poor ; and at any time when the 
ordinary resources have been found insufficient to supply the wants of the necessitous, the 
wealthy classes, both in town and country, have always liberally and readily subscribed for 
their relief. The ordinary sources from which the paupers are supported, are the collec- 
tions made at the doors of the established churches, averaging about £2 each Sabbath, a 
voluntary assessment to which the heritors yearly subject themselves, a poor's box carried 
through the town on Saturday, the average produce of which is £60 per annum,* and a 
portion of the dues chargeable on the registration of marriages, births, and deaths. There 
are at present fifty-six paupers on the roll, who receive weekly supply from the session; 
and the number who receive occasional supply is sixty-four. In the year ending May 1836, 
the Kirk Session distributed in weekly supplies, £185 15s. 9d. sterling; and in occa- 
sional aid, £51 12s. l.ld. ; amounting in whole to £237 7s. lOjd. In the year ending 
May 1837, there was distributed in weekly supplies, £172 8s. lOd. ; and in occasional 
aid, £57 5s. 9d. ; amounting in whole to £220 14s. 7d. sterling. 

In the Kirkgate is a house called the alms-house, with a yard attached, set apart for the 
benefit of the poor. It is not known when this institution was founded; but it is sup- 
posed to have been about the time the church was removed from its ancient site in 1415. 
From the earliest period to which the session records reach, 1648, this mortification appears 
to have been under their management. Here, about ten or twelve poor people were ac- 
commodated with a dwelling, two of them living in one apartment ; and the yard was let 
by the session for behoof of the poor. The necessity of enlarging the church-yard, sug- 
gested to the session the propriety of feuing out the yard for this purpose ; a plan was 
therefore prepared, and a number of lairs or family burying places have been already dis- 
posed of. A grassum or bonus is paid at making the purchase, and a small yearly feu 
duty thereafter. With the funds already realized from this source, and a sum of £50 
presented by Miss Knox, the alms-houses have been so far rebuilt as to accommodate eight 
persons ; and this has been done on a plan which admits of their being enlarged as funds 
shall arise for doing so, from the sale or feuing of the burying ground. 

The late David Knox, Esq. of London, who was a native of Cupar, left at his death the 

* The poor's box was instituted by the Magistrates some years ago, for the purpose of suppressing street beg. 
ging. Previous to that, twenty-five paupers were allowed to beg through the town every Saturday; but this 
being found annoying to shopkeepers, the plan of a box was adopted, which is still continued. The box is carried 
through the town every Saturday by four of the paupers, and its contents distributed in the evening among 
twenty-five poor persons. The management of the box has been handed over by the Magistrates to the Kirk 
Session. There are now no street beggars belonging to the parish. 


sum of £3000 sterling, for the purpose of building and endowing an institution for females 
above fifty years of age, who had previously been in better circumstances. It has been 
placed under the management of trustees not officially connected with the town. The 
present trustees are, James Wemyss, Esq. of Wemysshall, Thomas Stark, Esq. of Teases, 
Thomas Horsburgh, Esq., sheriff clerk of the county, captain Horsburgh of Lochma- 
lonie, and the Rev. Mr John Birrell, minister of the second charge of Cupar. By the deed 
of constitution, the survivors have the power from time to time of appointing a successor 
to any of their number deceasing. A handsome set of cottages have been erected, in 
which six females are accommodated with a comfortable dwelling. In the centre of the 
cottages there is a small chapel in which they attend worship at stated times, with a chap- 
lain, who has been appointed for this purpose. They have also a medical attendant, who 
visits them in cases of sickness. A small piece of ground has also been enclosed and laid 
out as a kitchen garden, of which each cottage has a portion set apart for its inmate. 
Besides these advantages the persons receiving the benefit of the institution, receive among 
them the interest of £2000, 3 per cent consols, under deduction of small gratuities paid to 
the chaplain and medical attendant ; and a sum yearly set apart to form a sinking fund for 
the future repairs of the building. 

Besides these sources of relief to the necessitous, the late Dr Gray already mentioned, 
left the sum of £450, under the management of the town council, who yearly distribute 
from its proceeds the sum of £18, among the poor. A number of the ladies of Cupar 
have for some time been formed into a Ladies' Society, for the purpose of relieving aged 
and decayed females; and through the praiseworthy exertions of this society, about £35 
is annually distributed in relieving very needful objects of charity. On occasions of pecu- 
liar emergency the inhabitants of Cupar parish have ever been ready to step forward with 
subscriptions for the relief of those in want ; and unhappily their benevolence has lately 
been very heavily though most necessarily taxed. The prevalence of fever among the 
poorer of the industrious classes, led to the formation of a Fever Board, and through its 
exertions £102 17s. Hid. has been collected within the last nine months, and applied to 
the relief of numbers, who were only rendered objects of charity from disease. During 
the late inclement season,* 290 poor people have been supplied with coals, from funds 
amounting to £101 lis. 4d. sterling, subscribed for the purpose; and a soup kitchen has 
recently been opened also by subscription, from which at first 115 individuals were, and 
now 230 are, daily supplied with a quart of excellent soup, and a penny roll. The 
amount of subscriptions to this charitable object, already received (March 1838) is about 
£65. Where joint exertions are so strenuously made for the relief of poverty and dis- 
tress, and so freely and willingly responded to, it can hardly be considered that private 
and individual charity will be withheld ; and we feel satisfied that were it possible to ascer- 
tain the amount of assistance thus afforded to persons who are in need, but not regular 

* The winter of 1837-8. 


paupers, it would be found that no parish of its extent and resources in the kingdom distri- 
butes more in purposes of benevolence.* 

XII. Upon the evening of the 31st of August, 1616, a fire broke out in Cupar, 
which destroyed a great portion of the town. The following extract referring to this 
calamity is taken from the records of the Synod of Fife, printed for the Abbotsford 
Club. " The Synode vnderstanding that vpon the last day of August last by past, about 
xj hours at night, it pleased the Lord to visite the burgh of Coupar with ane fearfull 
burneing of ane principall quarter of the towne in the most eminent place of the samine, 
quhairby the policie of that ancient necessarie burgh is miserablie defaced, the handling 
of traffecquaris and tradismen within among thame selffs, and with thair nighbouris 
about, is vtterlie impedit, and ane gryt number of good christians and laborious per- 
sons broght vnder distressfull heavines and want of imployment, in sick measure 
that the said towne be thame selffs ar nather able to support thair present necessities 
of lodging and means of lyff, nether to repair the policie, nor to restoir thair desolate 
nighbouris to thair wounted handling and trades agane ; and being, as it is knowen, 
the head burgh of the shyre, and the seatt of the Exerceis, thair desolatioune, so as it 
tuiches thame in particular, so in christiane compassioun it concerns all thame that, 
fearing God, wishes the weill and standing of sick societies : Lykas the lordis of his 
majesties honorable Privie Counsall having considered the said pitiefull caice, hes 
recommended thair releiffe to all and sundrie his Hienes subjectis weill affected in sick 
causes, be thair Honouris letteris giffen at Edinburgh, the awchtein day of September, 

* Amount of public chant}' distributed in the parish of Cupar, during the year commencing 1837, and ending 
May, 1838. 

Distributed by kirk session in weekly and occasional supplies, . £263 6 

From poor's box, . . . . . 60 

Subscription to fever fund, ..... 102 17 Hi 
For supplying poor with coal, (including donations from Yeo- 
manry Cavalry, and private individuals, expended by Rev. Mr Birrell,) 101 11 4 
To soup kitchen, . . . . . 65 

Interest of Dr Gray's legacy, . . . . . 18 

Distributed by Ladies' Society, . . . . . 35 

Value of rent of alms houses, 12 persons, at £1 each, . . 12 

Value of rent of houses and gardens in Knox's Institution, six persons, at £5 

each, . . . . . . . . 30 

Amount of monev paid the inmates, including gratuity to medical attendant 

and chaplain, . . . . . . . 50 

£737 15 3i 
Besides this, there has been a very great amount of private charity distributed during the above year, which, with tin 
contributions by the Dissenting congregations for the support of their own poor, and the payments made by the 
magistrates and Dr Bell's trustees, for the education of poor children, cannot have amounted to less than from 
£400 to £500. It is therefore not exaggerated, when we estimate the total amount of charity bestowed on the 
poor during the year alluded to, at from £1200 to £1300. 


in this instant yeir of God : Heirfore the said assemblie, with vniform consent ordaines 
evrie Exerceis and particular congregatioune within thair boundis, to tak the best 
way and ordour among thame selffs for releiff of thair said distressit brethren, with all 
convenient diligens, at thair returning hameward, by contributiounes and vther meanes 
as thei sail find meetest." 

In the month of April, 1669, the town of Cupar was again visited with a similar 
calamity, by which great injury was done, and much loss sustained. The minute of 
a meeting of the Synod held in the month of October following, states that " the Lord 
Archbishop and Synod having a supplication befor them from the toun of Cupar, pre- 
sented befor them, wherein they supplicat, that a charitable contribution may be 
granted vnto them, throughout all the parish churches of the dioces, in regaird that 
upon th . . . . day of April last, afire brake out a ccidentallie in the said toun, about 
one after midnight, and destroyit about 20 considerable families, quyte ruined ther 
whole houses, and brought the saids persons to great straits ; therefor the saids peti- 
tioners having obteined an act of his majesties Secret Counsel, for a voluntar contribu- 
tion to the supplie of the saids persons, throughout all the touns and parishes of the 
shires of Fife, the three Lowthians, Merce, Perth, and Angus, the Lord Archbishop 
and Synod, considering the premisses appoint that a charitable contribution be collected 
throughout all the parish churches within the dioces of St Androis, and that betueen 
this and Candlemes nixt, that collection be gone about and endit : Provyding alway, 
that the magistrats of Cupar appoint faithful and honest men to receive the same from 
the severall Moderators of the Presbitries, and to see that the same be faithfullie dis- 
tribut to the persons damnified by that fire, at the sight of the Magistrats and Minis- 
ters, as they will be answerable to the Lords of his Majesties Secret Councel." At the 
same meeting, a collection was also ordered to be made, immediatelv after that for 
Cupar, for the town of Kilmarnock, which had been " burnt into ashes" by fire in the 
month of May preceding. 

XIII. The arms of the burgh of Cupar gives for ensign armorial, or, three garlands 
vert, two in chief, one in base, within a border gules. Motto on an escroll above, 
" Unitas." Supporters, two angels proper, holding in their hands each a palm branch 
proper, and both standing on the garland bank being a compartment vert, below 
the shield. This, however, does not appear to have been the original arms, as 
emblazoned on the ancient seal of the burgh, still preserved in the office of the 
town clerk. We have before us an impression of this seal, once appended to an old 
burgess ticket, which presents on the obverse side on a shield, or, a lyon rampant gules, 
armed, and langued azure; the motto the same as that now used, " Unitas." And on 
the reverse, in chief a shrine, in which is placed the Virgin Mary upholding the Savi- 
our on the cross, all proper, and in base two nondescript animals, the meaning of which, 
or whatthey are intended to represent, we are unable to explain. The same motto is 
repeated on this side. 


The arms on the obverse side are those of the Macduffs, Earls of Fife, and seem 
to have been adopted by the inhabitants of Cupar from its being the principal burgh 
of the family. The only difference, it will be at once perceived, between the arms of 
the Earls of Fife, and that of the royal arms of Scotland, is that the latter is surrounded 
with a double tressure flowered, and counter-flowered with flower de lis. This coin- 
cidence would lead us to suppose that Macduff, the Lord of Fife, was descended from 
the Celtic Royal Family of Scotland, of which Malcom Ceanmore was then the repre- 

There is no authentic account of the time when the change in the arms of the burgh 
took place, or of the occasion of its having been made. The probability is, however, 
that it was after the Reformation ; and the tradition that the garlands were adopted 
instead of the lion of Macduff, in consequence of what occurred at the time, the army 
of the Lords of the Congregation, and that of the Queen Regent, lay opposed to each 
other in the neighbourhood of the town, is exceedingly probable. Many of the army 
of the Reformers were burgesses of Cupar, and as a battle between the contending 
parties seemed inevitable, the fears of the remaining inhabitants for the result, and 
especially of the females for the fate of their husbands and fathers must have been 
great indeed. When negotiation commenced, its progress was watched with intense 
interest ; and when the treaty was subscribed, the general joy was without bounds. 
The females of the burgh it is said cut down branches of trees, with which they advanced 
rejoicing towards the camp of their defenders. To perpetuate the memory of this 
event, it is alleged the garlands were adopted as the burgh arms ; and the heralds turned 
the women into two angels holding palm branches, which they added as supporters. 

XIV. The population of the parish has, for a long period, been gradually though slowly in- 
creasing. In 1617, when the parishes of Cupar and Tarvet were united, the population did 
not much exceed 1000. In 1755, when the return was made to Dr Webster, the total popu- 
lation was 2192. By the census in 1793, the returns were — Males 1719, Females 1983, 
Total 3702.* In 1801, the total population was 4463 ; in 1811, it was 4758 ; in 1821, it 
was 5892 ; and in 1831, when the last census was taken it had increased to 6473. There 
is very little reason to doubt that it is still upon the increase, and it is now considered to 
be above 7000. The following is an abstract of the returns made to government in 1831 : 

Mules, 20 years of age, 1482, total males, 2979 ; females, 3494 ; total persons, 6473. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 142 ; families chiefly employed in trade, manufactures, and handicraft. 
766 : all other families not comprised in either of these classes, 574 ; total families, 1482. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers, 29 ; occupiers not employing labourers, 22 ; labourers employed in 
agriculture, 106. 

Persons employed in manufacture, or in making manufacturing machinery, 378. 

* Dr Campbell in his Statistical Account of the parish accounts for the surplus females, " chiefly from the cir- 
cumstance of the youth of Cupar being at all times forward to engage in a military life." For the general in- 
crease, he says, " it is caused by the extension of the linen manufacture, the demands for hands in erecting new 
buildings, and in carrying on agricultural and garden improvements," 


Persons employed in retail trade, or in handicraft, as masters or workmen, 618. 

Capitalists, bankers, professional, and other educated men, 96. 

Labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 103, 

All other males, 20 years of age (except servants) 101. 

Male sen-ants, 20 years of age, 29, under 20, 6, total male, servants, 35 : female servants, 290. 

Inhabited houses, 912; uninhabited, 11 : building, 8. 

The amount of the population in the burgh of Cupar, is about 5000. 

in the village of Springfield and neighbourhood, 500. 

in the village of Glaidney, 300. 

in the landward portion, 673. 

The following may be taken as at least a pretty accurate approximation towards an esti- 
mate of the numbers connected with the different religious denominations in the parish : — 

Persons attending the parish church, the new church of St Michael, the parish church of Cults, and the parish, 
church of Ceres, 2000. 
Persons in communion with the established church, 1300.* 

attending the episcopal chapel, 82. 

in communion with that body, 50. 

attending the chapel in connection with united associate synod, 340. 

in communion with that body, 260. 

attending the 1st relief chapel, 600. 

in communion with that body, 500. 

attending the 2nd relief chapel, 559. 

in communion with that body, 3S0. 

attending the chapel in connection with the original burgher associate synod, 3 GO. 

in connection with that body, 240. 

attending the " free communion baptist," chapel, 300. 

in communion with that body, 120. 

Members of the congregational church, Dundee, (Glassites) meeting at Cupar, 7. 
Persons attending their place of worship, 20. 

There are a Bible Society and a Missionary Society, but they both receive support from 
neighbouring parishes. The subscriptions to these are not great, and have not for some- 
time been increasing. The Apocryphal controversy some years ago, by destroying confi- 
dence injured the first ; and more recently, the exertions of the latter have been paralized, 
by the discussions to which the voluntary question has given rise, and the irritated state of 
feeling which has been thereby occasioned. There is also a Tract Society, which distributes 
weekly about 1400 tracts. 

XV. From an early period horse-racing, seems to have been an amusement of the 
gentlemen of Fife ; and one which, since its first institution at Cupar, they have regularly 
patronized. From Lamont we learn that the Cupar races commenced in the year 1621 ;t 

s These, however, do not all partake of the sacrament at the parish church. Many persons residing in Spring- 
field, attend the parish church of Cult, and partake of the sacrament there : while, again, many residing in 
Glaidney, attend the parish church of Ceres, and join in the sacrament there. 

t Diary, p. 1 60. Lamont gives several characteristic notices of Cupar races, which may amuse some of our 
readers : — " 1659, Apr. 12. Captaine WeilkeBon, ane English Captaine, wanne Cuper race this yeare. At this 


and that a cup was first presented to the winner in 1(361, the prize having previously 
been a sum of money. These races are still continued, and still excite considerable 
interest ; but by a very small exertion of the gentlemen of Fife, who take an interest in the 
turf, their value might be much increased. Besides the usual Cupar races, a cup is gen- 
erally run for at the close of the yeomanry drill, in the month of July. The Cupar races 
are now held in October, instead of April, as they appear to have been at their com- 

tyme none bot 3 horse? ranne, all belonging to English men. It is obs. that they returned in the same order thev 
were lead foorth, viz. the said eaptaines horse first lead out, and the first that returned ; and the last in outgoeing 
last in returning. — p. 115. 1661, Apr. 30. The laird of Philiphawch, his horse wan the race att Cuper this 
veire, and Stobs horse, surnamed Scott was second. Onlie thir two ran, and as they went foorth, so they 
returned, Philiphawch his horse being still first. That which was formerlie money is now conuerted to a large 
siluer cupe, worth 18 lib. sterling, or therby, as is reported. The ryder that wan was Johne Hoome. On the 
morrow, being the first of May, they ran for a siluer cup, worth 5 lib. sterl., giuen in by the prouest 
of Cuper for the tyme, viz. the Earle of Rothes, wher Powry Fothringames horse in Angus, caried the 
day, the same Johne Hume being the rvder, and Will. Arnots horse, Fernvs brother, was the last of the 
fowre horses that ran. — p, 136. 1662, Apr. 8, being Tuesday. This yeire, Powrie Fofhringhame in Angus, his 
horse, did wenne the race at Cuper. That which formerly was payed in money was this yeire turned to a cup, as 
also the veire before, which was the first yeire of cups. The E. of Dundie was second, one Cunninghame thrid, 
and the lord Meluens meare was last. On the morrow after, they ran for a cup worthe 5 lib. sterl. put in by the 
earl of Rothes ; (the said Cunninghame, formerly mentioned, caried the same,) and Pittencriffe his horse, the same 
day carried the sadell. — p. 14.3. 1663, Apr. 14. The lord Meluen in Fiffe, had a meare that ran att Cuper that 
wan the reace this veire ; the pryse was a siluer goblett aboue twopounde weight, (Some report that this was 
the first meare that euer caried the day att Cuper euer since this reace was instituted, which was in An. 1621, as 
is reported.) Rentons horse was second, and Powrie Fothringams last. (Obs. this horse of Powries was 
first the yeire before, and this meare that now wan, was last the said yeire,) The second day Johne Home, on 
his owne horse, gat the sadell ; and the 3 dav the said Powrv Fothringame had a meare that wan the cupp worth 
5 lib. sterl. — p. 160. 1666, Apr. 10. Being the day of the race att Cupar of Fyffe, which day the E r of Rothes 
being his Maj. Commissioner for the tyme, his horse did cary the pryse being a great silver cup. Stobs horse v. is 
second, and the Lord of Mongomery horse was last, being only three in all. And the 12 of Apr. whille they 
were spectators of a lesser cowrse the lord Lithgow, and the lord Carneggie, after cupps, ther passed some worii- 
betwixt them, and about night they drew off from the rest, on the hill towards Tarvet Broom, and drew ther 
swords on att another, till at last Carneggie gave Lithgow a sore wownd. Whille this was noised abroad, divers 
of the nobilitie and others ther present, did rydd downe to stope them; amonge whom was the E r of Weyms, 
who laboring to ryd in betwixt the pairties had both his owne horse vnder him, and his man's horse thrust 
throwgh by them, whille they were drawing one att another, so that both the horses dyed ; also one of lord Mel- 
vens horses was hurt, and the lord Newwarke had one of his sen-ants ridden downe also and hurt. And att night they 
were both putt vnder arreist by his Maj. Commissioner att Cupar in their several qwarters. — p. 187. 1C6S, Apr. 
14. Powry Fothringame in Angus, his horse wan the cupp att Cwpar in Fyffe; the chancelowr, the Earl of 
Rothes his horse was second ; and the E r of Kingorne his horse was last. May 26, also the said Powry Foth- 
ringame his horse wan a second race att Cwpar from the chancellowr, etc.; the wager was abowt 50 lib. sterl. 
p. 204. — 1670, Apr. 12. The laird of Haining surnamed (Pringle) his horse caried the day att Cwpar race the 
9aid yeire ; and Bandocks horse the second day." — p. 218. Of the English Captain above mentioned, whose horse 
gained the prize in 1659, Lamont gives the following odd anecdote : " 1652, Sept. 18. — One Captaine Weilke- 
sone, of Coll. Fairfax regimente, (who, att this time, quartered att Lundie in Fyfe) called togither his wholle com- 
pany to Lundie, and caused the chirurgion of his company to drawe blood of his whole company." — Diary, p. 47. 
The Captain appears to have been an admirer of the art surgical as well as of the pleasures of the turf. 



mencement. These races besides being patronised by the Fife hunt, have been re- 
peatedly patronised by the Caledonian Hunt, on which occasions many of the first nobility 
in Scotland attend. The race course is very excellent, and is situated to the west of the 
town at a distance of about two miles. It is the property of lord Leven. The old race 
ground appears to have been on part of Cupar muir, between Ferry bank and Russell 
mill, near the banks of the Eden. 

The Fife hunt has long been possessed of an excellent pack of fox hounds, the principal 
kennel connected with which is at Cupar. Under the present management this pack has 
attained an almost unequalled degree of excellence ; and is unrivalled in Scotland for 
steadiness, strength, and speed. Many of their runs if recorded, and the particulars of 
which we have heard related, would entitle the Fife hounds to rank with, if not to take pre- 
cedence of the oldest and best trained pack in the sister kingdom. An excellent pack of 
harriers are also kept in the neighbourhood, which are sure and well trained, and of first rate 
breeding. With these sources of field amusement, it is not at all to be wondered at, that the 
gentlemen of Fife have latterly neglected coursing ; and that the greyhound is not now 
cultivated to any extent in the county. At one time, there were more than one coursing 
club in the county ; but the superior excitement of the fox chase, or a run after the 
harriers, seems to have lessened the taste for a well contested match between a pair of rival 
grews. We have heard, however, that there is an intention to revive this beautiful field 
sport, in this part of the county, and we hope that the cast of Fife will soon be able to 
boast dogs of as assured speed and bottom, as they could do when the Kilmany club 

Curling is a favourite amusement in Cupar, during the season, as it is in other parts of 
Scotland ; and the Cupar curling club has long existed. By the kindness of Mr Rigg of 
Tarvet, the club is allowed the use of the pond near his residence, where the members have 
every opportunity of making the booming stone seek the tee ; and where the broom is 
ever and anon tost on high with many a merry shout. The national game of England, 
cricket, has also of late begun to interest the youth of Cupar ; and a club has been formed 
by which it is tobe hoped this manly and athletic exercise will continue to be cultivated. 

XVI. Besides the county town, the parish contains two well built, and increasing 
villages ; that of Springfield at the western end of the parish ; and that of Glaidney at its 
southern extremity. The village of Springfield owes its increase to the Mills already 
described belonging to Mr Moon, and the increased demand for linen weavers. The village 
of Glaidney forms an extension of the village of Ceres, and has arisen from the increasing 
manufactures in that enterprising place. These villages are both pleasantly situated, and 
healthy ; and the inhabitants derive great benefits from having little kitchen gardens, in the 
cultivation of which they can spend their leisure hours ; an advantage of which the labour- 
ing classes resident in large towns are unfortunately deprived. 

XVII. There are several gentlemen's seats in the parish, which, from the wood with 
which they are embellished, add much to the beauty of its general appearance. In the 


immediate neighbourhood of the town is Westfield, Robert Walker, Esq. of Pittencrief. 
This house has been recently much improved by the present proprietor. North of the 
town is Dalyell Lodge, John Dalyell, Esq. of Lingo. The grounds form part of 
what was anciently the lands of Pittencrief, the name of this portion having been 
changed when the house was built. In the seventeenth century, part of these lands 
belonged to a branch of the family of Wemyss, now extinct, as did a great portion 
of the lands in the neighbourhood of Cupar to different branches of this ancient 
name.* Another portion of Pittencrief belonged to the Turnbulls of Airdrie. Far- 
ther north is Springfield, the seat of Mrs Don ; part of the grounds which surround 
this mansion is the Kirkfield, on which the old church stood till taken down in 
1415. Still farther north, on the high ground which forms the north boundary of 
the valley of the Eden, is Hilton, William Todd, Esq., from which the view is extensive, 
embracing a large portion of the How of Fife ; and about a quarter of a mile farther 
north is Cairney Lodge, the elegant mansion of General Foulis, C. B. H. E. I. C. S. 
West of this, on the low ground, upon the north side of the hills which bound the 
valley of the Eden, and at the extremity of the parish, is Pitblado, George Russell, Esq. 
Anciently the barony of Pitblado was the possession of a family of that name. In 1446 
James Pitblado of the same, was one of the assize for executing a brief of perambulation 
granted by James III., for clearing the marches of Gaitmilk, belonging to the abbot of 
Dunfermline, from the lands of Auchmuty. The lands afterwards came into the family 
of Barclay of Collarnie, as in 1654, September 2nd, Robert Barclay of Collarnie is 
served heir male of his father, Sir David Barclay, in the lands of Pitblado and others. t 
About one and one-half miles north-west of the town is Kilmaron castle, the seat of 

* The following extract from the records of the Synod of Fife, printed for the Abbotsford club, p. 46., referring 
to one of this familv, is curious, as illustrative of the manners of the period to which it refers : — " 22d April, 
1612. Anent the humble supplicatioune of Jhone Weymes of Potincrieff, excommunicate for the slauchter of 
Ymquhile Weymes, his naturall brother, craving , that seingGod lies touched and moved his heart with 

vnfained repentans, for the said most abominable cryme, and is most willing to satisfie the kirk in all things as 
sail be thocht meitt for removing the sclander iustlie raised thairvpon, as at length is contained in his supplicatioune 
foirsaid, thairfoir the bosome of the kirk may be opened to him, and he absolved from the heavie sentens aboue- 
mentionate. The said rycht Reverend Father and brethren, having sein and red the relaxatioune of the said Jhone 
from the king's majesties home, for the cryme foirsaid, and considering that thair is na vindex sarir/uinis quho lies 
persewed or will persew the said Jhone thairfoir, thei being all commoune freindis to the parties, offcndar and 
offendit, to quhom also the said Jhone hes submitted himself for making assythment as sowld be thocht meitt ; 
admitted the said Jhone to thair presens, quho ia the maist humble maner acknowledged his hynous cryme, and 
moved moist earnistlie to be loosed as said is : Quhairfoir the said Jhone wes decernit to be absolved from the 
sentens of excommunicatioune, having satisfiet as follows, viz.: It wes statute and ordained, that the said Jhone 
sail present himself fyve several sabbothes successive, in the places of publict repentans, within the kirkes of Dun- 
fermling, Kirkaldie, Dvsert, Coupar, and St Androis, his compeirans to be in lineis, (sackcloth) ; and he to report 
from the ministeris of the Kirkes respective aboue mentionate, testimoniallis of his humble satisfactioune ; vpon ex- 
hibitioune quhairof, and his continowans in good behaviour, he salbe absolved vpon that day he sail compeir in St 
Androis, as said is." 

t Inqui. Retor. Abb. 


James A. Cheyne, Esq. and the most elegant mansion in the parish. It was erected by 
Admiral Maitland, a former proprietor, from a plan by Mr Gillespie of Edinburgh. It 
is in the castellated style, having a lofty circular tower rising from its west end, and 
small octagonal towers rising above it in different parts. The view of this mansion, 
given in the engraving, is from near the offices ; the Mount, with the monument erected 
to the late earl of Hopetoun, rising from it, appearing in the distance. The lands of 
Kilmaron originally formed a portion of the barony of Pitblado, and of course 
belonged to the family of that name. They afterwards became the property of the 
family of Barclay of Collarnie, as in 1656, Robert Barclay of Collarnie, above men- 
tioned, was served heir male to his father, Sir David Barclay, knight, in the seven- 
twelfth parts of the lands of Kilmaron.* 

About forty years ago these lands were purchased from Captain Barclay of Collarnie, 
by Oliver Gourlay, Esq. of Craigrothie, and John Taylor and David Balfour, Esquires, 
W.S., for the sum of £2800 sterling. The subsequent transmissions of the lands of 
Kilmaron afford a singular instance of the variation which has taken place in the value 
of land during the last half century. Mr Gourlay's partners in the purchase being 
desirous of withdrawing from it, received £100 each from him for their interest. He 
then proceeded to plant and improve the grounds, and subsequently sold them to Mr 
Lumsden, tenant in Aiton, for £20,000 sterling. Mr Lumsden's brother sold them 
afterwards to Admiral Maitland for £26,000 sterling ; who afterwards spent consider- 
ably above £12,000 sterling in building the house and in other erections. Kilmaron 
therefore cost him altogether above £38,000 sterling. It was purchased from his 
representatives for £16,250, there being thus a loss on one transmission of this pro- 
perty of £21,750 sterling. 

The name of Kilmaron is derived from its probably having been the cell or place of 
retreat of a religious recluse who lived at an early period. Saint Ronan was a bishop and 
confessor in Scotland in anno 603. His festival, according to the Romish calendar, was 
held upon the 4th of February. This person had either retired to this place in the latter 
portion of his life ; or a small cell or chapel had been erected here, and dedicated to 
his memory. Indeed Dr Campbell says, that the ruins of a small chapel, situated near 
the eastern extremity of the lands, were still to be seen a short period before he wrote. 

South of Kilmaron, and west of the town of Cupar, at the extremity of the parish 
where it marches with Monimail, is the old house of Carslogie, which, notwithstanding 
its antiquity, is still inhabited. It is the property of the Rev. Mr Laing of the Mythe, 
near Tewkesbury. The house consists of a strong building which had formed the keep 
or principal fortress of the castle; but its height has been lessened by at least two 
of the upper stories having been removed; and its appearance has been much modern- 
ised by the alteration of its roof, and from new windows having been struck out in differ- 

* Inquis. Retor. Abb. 


ent places of its walls. Some lower buildings which adjoin the principal one are obvi- 
ously much more modern in the period of their erection. The barony of Carslogie was at 
one time very extensive, and its lords were men of great power in the district. So late 
as the time when Dr Campbell wrote, the remains of a stately ash tree, called the Jug 
tree, to which criminals were fastened as a punishment, was still to be seen ; and the 
iron jugs with which the erring vassals of the proud barons of Carslogie were fastened, 
remained in the tree till 1 793, when they fell down. The ancient tree itself was 
blown down some years ago. 

Tradition says, that in ancient times, when private feuds and quarrels were com- 
mon among the Scottish barons, the lords of Carslogie were leagued with the proprie- 
tors of Scotstarvet, whose residence, Scotstarvet tower, is situated on a lower ridge or 
shoulder of Tarvet hill, about two miles to the south. The tower of Carslogie being 
situated in a hollow might have been approached by an enemy without his being 
observed until very near ; but the more commanding situation of Scotstarvet, enabling 
the warden on the battlements of the tower, to see an enemy at a greater distance, he on 
occasions of danger instantly sounded his horn, which was replied to by the warden from 
the towers of Carslogie, and the vassals were immediately in arms for the defence of the 
castle. This tradition is very probably true in its leading facts, but it is erroneous in 
some particulars. Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet, who purchased the estate, and built 
the present tower, as appears from the arms and inscription upon it, lived in the 
seventeenth century, when such leagues were neither so necessary nor so likely to 
take place. It must, therefore, have been during the period when upper Tarvet be- 
longed to the family of Inglis that this occurred ; and when a tower older than the 
present existed.* The horn of Carslogie, with which the call to battle was sounded 
has been rendered famous by Sir Walter Scott, and is still, we believe, in the posses- 
sion of the widow of the late Major-General William Madame Douglas Clephane, the 
last direct male heir of the Clephanes of Carslogie, or in that of the marquis of South- 
ampton, who married their only daughter. Besides the horn, the family of Clephane 
had long been in possession of a hand made of steel, in imitation of that of a man, 
which has also been brought into notice by Sir Walter. The tradition is that this steel 
hand was a present from one of the kings of Scotland to a baron of Carslogie, who had 
lost his hand in battle, in defence of his country. It does not seem, however, to be 
an agreed point what king this was, or which of the long line of Barons of Carslogie 
received the royal gift. It has been said that the hand was lost at Bannockburn, 
and that the gift was made by Robert Bruce ; but others say that it was at a much 
more recent period, and that it was presented to the great grandfather of the late 

* Notwithstanding the date, the tower may possibly be older, and the date may refer to the change which 
took place in the proprietorship, or to some alterations made upon the building ; but, however this may bo, the 
league with the knights of Carslogie, must have been when Tarvet was possessed by the family of Inglis. 


General Clephane. The hand is still preserved either in the possession of the 
General's widow, or of his son-in-law. 

The barony of Carslogie, originally belonged to a family of the same name, but it 
appears to have come at a very early period into the family of Clephane. It is said 
that this family had possessed the barony from the time of Malcolm Ceanmore, and 
that a charter by that monarch is still in their possession, with the horn and hand ; but, 
however this may be, Sibbald says, that Sir James Balfour writes that " anno 9. reg. 
"Will.,* Willielmus de Carslogie filius D. Richardi de Carslogie militis, is witness to a 
donation of this kind's terrarum de Torriev, and is called Vallettus domini re°;is." 
About the time of king Alexander III., who died in 1285-6, Sibbald says, he found 
Marcas de Clapan miles, witness to several charters by dominus Alexander de Aber- 
nethy of Abernethy; and in 1332, he found one Alanus de Clepan. He also received 
a copy of a charter bearing that " Duncanus comes de Fyfe confirmat Johanni de 
Clephan et haeredibus, totam terram de Clesclogie et de Erithirrogewale — adeo libere 
sicut David de Clephan pater ejus, et predecessores, eas tenuerant." The witnesses to 
this charter were " dominis Alexandro de Abernethy, Michaele et David de Wemyss, 
Hugone de Lochor, Johanne de Ramsay, Willielmo de Ramsay, et Henrico de Ramsay 
cum multis aliis." From the period at which the witnesses lived, this charter must 
have been granted, at latest, in the beginning of the reign of king Robert I. It 
appears, therefore, that at whatever period this family obtained possession of the lands 
of Carslogie, they were in possession of them long previous to the time of Robert I. 

The last of the eldest branch of the family, General Clephane, already mentioned, 
was said to have been the twenty-first laird, in the direct male line, without the inter- 
vention of a female or the succession of a younger branch. He sold the remaining 
portion of the barony, and it is a singular coincidence, that when the property went 
entirely from the family, the eldest male line became extinct; the general having had no 
issue, but the late marchioness of Southampton. The Clephanes are said to have been 
an exceeding tall, strong race of men, and general Clephane was far above the usual 
height. His brother, the present sheriff of the county, Andrew Clephane, Esq., ex- 
hibits in his height evident marks of the family he is descended from, though certainly 
he is short of that giant appearance which tradition attributes to the ancient knights of 

South from Carslogie, and about a mile to the south-west of Cupar, is Ferrybank, 
the residence of colonel Craigie, H. E. I. C. S. This house is pleasantly situated on 
high ground above the Eden. The lands appear to have been a portion of what 
originally formed Cupar Muir, and in all probability was part of the ground occu- 
pied by the army of the lords of the congregation, when they opposed the forces of 
Mary of Guise. In the immediate vicinity of the town, in the Millgate, is Bellfield, 

* Anno 1174. 


captain Moncreiff of Balcurvie ; and adjoining it Blalowne, John Govan, Esq. W. S. 
Blalowne formerly belonged to the Turnbulls of Airdrie ; and in 1614, Domina 
Elizabetha Turnbull domina de Airdrie ac sponsa sua domini Joannes Prestonn de 
Pennycuik Milites, haeres Willelmi Turnbull de Airdrie patris, was served heir to 
her father, inter alia in Columbario de Ballone cum pecia terras viridis super qua 
edificatur, duo et dimidium acris terrarum arabilium ex occidentali parte dicti colum- 
barii, acra teme arabilis vocata, the barnyaird of Ballone, pecia terra? arabilis vocata the 
ward and meadow of Ballone, cum decimis infra dominium prioratis sancti Andreas et 
regalitatem de Fife. In 1663, Sir John Preston of Airdrie, was served heir to his 
father in these lands. 

On the opposite bank of the Eden, and about half a mile south of Cupar, is Tarvet 
house, the seat of James Home Rigg, Esq. of Downfield, who, however, has not been 
resident there for some years. Although so near the town, Tarvet is an exceedingly retired 
sweet spot, beautifully wooded, and the grounds well laid out. Anciently it was called 
nether, lower, or little Tarvet, but since upper or over Tarvet came to be designated 
Wemyss-hall, the distinction has been discontinued as unnecessary. In the early 
part of the seventeenth century, Little Tarvet belonged to a branch of the family of 
Sibbald. In the summer of 1658, " Robin Androw, collector of the sesse of Perth- 
shire, bought Litell Taruet (which is neare Cuper), from S Dauid Sibbalde ; it stood 
him 26 thousande marks, and e^ht hundred marks he <raue to S r Da. lady. It was 
sold for 13 chalder of victuall, which is two thousande marks the chalder. 1663, He 
sold it againe to Doctor Bethun att St Johnston ;* who paid between twenty-seven and 
twenty-eight thousand marks for the property." Near the garden gate of Tarvet, and 
on a farm belonging to the estate, is a little knoll immediately above the Eden, now 
planted with wood, and enclosed with a wall. On this little knoll the ancient church 
of Tarvet stood. It was dedicated to St Michael, and hence was called St Michael of 
Tarvet.t Human bones were at one time often discovered here by the operations of 
the plough, and also at the time the river Eden was straighted. 

On the southern slope of Tarvet hill, and overlooking the vale of Ceres is Wemyss- 
hall, the seat of James Wemyss, Esq. The house was built in 1696, from a plan by 
Sir William Bruce, of Kinross, King's architect for Scotland. It is in imitation of 

* Lamont's Dairy, p. 109. It was long customary, in buying land, for the purchaser to present the seller's 
lady with a ring or other valuable article, and sometimes a sum of monev, as a conciliatory offering. A claim 
of this nature to; lately asserted and admitted as a right in an old fashioned family in Fife, when parting with a 
small property. Sir David Sibbald is said to have been one of those pragmatically oracular persons whose 
opinions it is difficult to admit or deny. Hence arose a proverbial saying, which is not yet orgotten in Fife, 
' Say you so, Little Tarvit.' Editor's note to Lamont's Diary. 

t " It is found that St Michaelis Kirk is vnplanted, and the parochinaris thairof being annexed to na vther, 
nether subject to any particular discipline ar verie otfensiue to all that ar adjacent to thame. It is thocht meitt, 
thairfoir, that the minister and sessioune of Coupar haue ane cair of thame and hold thame vnder discipline. ' 
RecorJs of the Synod of Coupar, Aprd, 1(312, p. 51. 


the house of Kinross, but on a smaller scale. Though standing high above the 
neighbouring valley, the house is well sheltered by the higher peak of Tarvet hill 
which rises behind it, and by the extensive woods with which it is surrounded. This 
branch of the ancient family of Wemyss is descended from Gavin Wemyss, of 
Powguild, third son of Sir John Wemyss, of Wemyss, who was constituted Lieutenant 
of Fife, Kinross, and Clackmannan by commission from Francis and Mary, dated 9th 
January, 1569, and died at Elcho, January, 1571-2. Gavin, of Powguild, married 
Catherine Wemyss, heiress of Winthank. She was the daughter of David Wemyss, 
of Winthank, who was son of Thomas Wemyss, of Winthank,* fourth son of Sir John 
Wemyss, of Wemyss, who obtained various charters in 1468 and 1506. Besides 
Winthank, this family acquired the lands of Hill Tarvet, which after the building of 
the present mansion house, in 1696, came to be designated Wemyss-hall ; and sub- 
sequently, they also acquired the lands of Scots Tarvet, formerly called Inglis Tarvet. 
The old tower of Scots Tarvet is still inhabited by some of the ground servants, and a 
room has been fitted up as a small museum in one of the upper stories. In a field to 
the south-east of Wemyss-hall, and forming a lower portion of the same ridge of hills, 
the well known aeronaut, Vincent Lunardi, made his descent, in 1785, after having 
crossed the Firth of Forth in his balloon. He received, on this occasion, every atten- 
tion from the inhabitants of Cupar, they had it in their power to bestow, and spent 
some days at Melville-house. 

After describing his voyage across the Forth, the light-hearted and rather egotistical 
foreigner, gives the following characteristic account of his descent and of his reception 
in Cupar: — " I was instantly surrounded by several farmers, to whom I had spoken 
for some time through the trumpet ; the first in the habit of a gentleman that reached 
me was Mr Robert Christie, who politely enquired after my safety, and assisted me in 
getting out of the gallery ; the next was Mr Mathew,! the keeper of the best inn in 
Cupar. He seemed to be acquainted with me a good while before, and he did a great 
service to me ; the other was the Rev. Mr Arnot, who with forty or fifty people came 
running quite out of breath. 

" With the assistance of the people who came crowding about me, I soon emptied 
the balloon, which, with its car, netting, &c, was conveyed in triumph to Cupar 
Town-hall. I was supplied with a horse by Mr Mathew, of Cupar, and took my first 
refreshment at Mr Arnot's, from whence, accompanied by the two gentlemen above 
mentioned, several others, and four ladies who came in a carriage to meet me, with the 
multitude of followers every moment increasing, I proceeded to Cupar, where I was 

* In anno 1545 and 1550 he is designed Mr Thomas Wemyss, of Winthank, and Lord of Session. — Nisbet's 
Heraldry, vol. 2, App. p. 36. 

t He means the late Mr Methven, then well known in Cupar. 


received with joy truly inexpressible ! The lower ranks of people looked upon me as a 
superior being, and hope, in her sweetest dream of delicate flatter y, whispers in my ear 
that Lunardi's arrived in that country will be celebrated for many years to come ! At 
night I was splendidly entertained with an elegant supper by the gentlemen of the 

" Yesterday I went to see my balloon, and found it torn in several places about the 
neck. I am strongly tempted here to mention a circumstance which, however trifling 
it may seem to you, afforded me infinite pleasure. I know you will think me vain, 
but consider, my dearest friend, I am a young man ; I have for some time experienced 
the praises, the caresses, nay, even the adulation of all ranks of people ! Mounted 
upon the highest pinnacle of fame's temple, with the loud shouts of applause ringing 
in my ears, can you much wonder if my head should turn a little giddy ? The joy which 
universal admiration presents are intoxicating, but I cannot voluntarily relinquish them. 
Shall I relate this pleasing incident. I am irresolute — yes ; I will. 

" I found the Town-hall full of ladies, who upon my expressing a desire to have the 
balloon mended, vied with each other in lending their assistance to repair it ; so that 
in less than half an hour it was as complete as ever. Delighted with this mark of 
attention, I told them in the gaiety of my heart, that they deserved a reward for their 
labour, and cutting a number of small shreds from the neck of the balloon presented 
one to each of them ; but what was my satisfaction when I beheld these triflino- 
mementos received with the most animated expressions of regard, and placed as little 
treasures in the pocket-books of these fair ones, some of whom honoured me so far as 
to promise that they would have them set for rings or lockets to wear in remembrance 
of the event which introduced me to their acquaintance. 

" After this agreeable incident, I was invited to dine with the provost and magis- 
trates, who presented me with the freedom of the town. The hospitality of these 
people is almost incredible ! I was next honoured with a visit from Lord Bal°T>nie 
who, in the name of his father, mother, and the whole family, invited me to their house, 
where I have experienced the utmost hospitality and politeness." 

To the east of the town of Cupar, on the south side of the Eden, is Balas, Alexander 
Bogie, Esq. ; and on the north bank of the river is Prestonhall, R. Swan, Esq. The 
lands of Prestonhall originally formed part of the lands of Thomaston, and previous to 
1614, belonged to the Turnbulls of Airdrie. By marriage with Elizabeth Turnbull, 
heiress of William Turnbull of Airdrie, these lands were acquired by Sir John Preston 
of^Pennycuik, Bart, President of the Court of Session from 1609 to 1616, and the lineal 
representative of the Prestons of Gilmerton. Sir John, or some of his descendants, 
erected a Mansion-house on the lands, and thence the name was changed to Preston- 
hall. The Mill, and Mill-lands, after the property came to be sold, having passed into 
the hands of a different proprietor from the purchaser of the Mansion-house and lands 
attached to it, has retained the name of Thomaston, while the latter continues to be 



designated Preston-hall. The present house is small, and of modern erection. On 
the high ground to the north is Foxton, Andrew West, Esq., the situation of which is 
good, but the total want of wood around the house gives it a bare, cold appearance ; and 
on the same hill, but nearer Cupar, is Middlefield, David Russell, Esq. To the north 
of Middlefield, is Kingask, Peter Walker, Esq. These lands belonged in the seven- 
teenth century to a family of the name of Inglis, a branch of the Inglis's of Inglis- 

XVIII. From Dr Campbell's Statistical Account we learn that turnpike roads began 
to be made in the parish only a few years before he wrote in 1796 ; and that, notwith- 
standing the roads had been previously sufficiently bad, the attempt to introduce turn- 
pikes met with great opposition from the farmers. A short experience, however, of the 
advantages of the improved system soon reconciled them to the payment of tolls, with 
which they had been previously unaccustomed. The roads are now kept in the very best 
order. There are nine miles thirty-five yards of turnpike roads, and five miles one 
hundred and thirty-two yards of statute labour roads within the parish. There are two 
substantial stone bridges, and an iron suspension one, over the Eden, in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of the burgh. There is also another excellent bridge over the 
Eden beyond Russell Mill, at the extremity of the parish ; besides a number of small 
bridges over the lesser streams and rivulets. 

XIX. Sir John Campbell, her Majesty's present Attorney General for England, is a 
native of the parish. He is the second son of the late Dr Campbell, who was minister of 
the parish from 1771 to 1825, and to whose account we have so often had occasion to 
refer. Sir John was born in 1778, and early in life went to London, where he 
studied for the bar. He was called to the bar in 1807 ; and by his own industry and 
talent, with little if any adventitious assistance, has gradually risen to eminence in his 
profession. In 1821 he married the Hon. Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Abinger. 
In 1832 he was appointed his Majesty's Solicitor General, which office he held till 
1834, when he was appointed Attorney General, but he shortly afterwards resigned, 
when the Whigs went out of office. In 1835 he was again appointed, and has held the 
office since that year. He was Member of Parliament for Stafford in 1830 and 1831 ; 
and for Dudley from 1S32 to 1834. In that year he was elected one of the members 
for Edinburgh, and he still continues one of the representatives for that city. In 1836 
his late Majesty William IV., was pleased to raise Lady Campbell to the dignity of a 
baroness of Great Britain, under the title of Baroness Stratheden, in the county of 

XX. Until within about fifteen years previous to the time when he wrote his ac- 
count of the parish, Dr Campbell says that Fife was far behind many of the neighbour- 
ing counties in the important knowledge and valuable improvements of agriculture ; 
and he accounts for this on the ground that the great landholders were too exclusively 
occupied with the prosecution and encouragement of the herring fishery, the making 
of salt, the burning of lime, and the working of coal mines, to bestow the necessary 


attention on agriculture which it required and deserved. By the time he wrote, this 
state of things was considerably altered, and both landlords and tenants had begun to 
adopt all the modern improvements with perseverance and success. Since then 
this attention and desire for improvement in agriculture has continued to encrease ; and 
experience and judicious investigation have introduced a system of cultivation, which 
it is hardly possible to conceive can be excelled, whether we view it with reference to 
the interests of the landlord, or the prosperity and advantage of the tenant — objects 
which should ever be considered as identical. In these improvements, the parish of 
Cupar has largely participated. The soil to the north and east of the burgh consists 
chiefly of a friable loam incumbent on a gravelly subsoil, interspersed with patches of 
clay soil resting on whinstone rock ; to the south and west, the soil and subsoil are more 
inclined to sand, and consequently the less fertile. The alternate system of husbandry 
is prevalent over the whole parish, viz. a green and grain crop alternating ; grass, 
chiefly used for hay or in soiling, being generally sown every fourth or fifth year, on 
all the less fertile soils, and every sixth on those that are capable of bearing a wheat 
crop either after potatoes or naked fallow. The rotations are, 1st, fallow or potatoes — 
2nd, wheat — 3rd, beans or turnips — 4th, barley — 5th, clover or pasture — 6th, Oats. 
On the lighter soils, 1st, turnips or potatoes — 2nd, wheat or barley — 3rd, hay or pas- 
ture, which in some cases is allowed to lie two years, and lastly, oats. 

From the porous nature of the subsoil generally throughout the parish, the principal 
drainage required was for removing spring water along the low grounds to the north and 
west parts, which has been done efficiently according to the Elkington system. There being 
little wet moorish soil in the parish, the Deanston system is not much required or prac- 

From the above it will appear that nearly one-half of the soil is usually in grass or green 
crop, and the other half in grain, in nearly equal quantities of barley and oats, with a little 
less extent of wheat, and as there is very little permanent pasture in the parish, the 
clover, turnips, and other green crops, are principally used in keeping cows for supply- 
ing the town and manufacturing villages with dairy produce and butcher meat. The 
number of live stock reared is not great, and are chiefly of the black horned and polled 
Angus breeds, as being considered to yield a greater produce in milk than the large Eng- 
lish breeds in this district. 

The grain crops cultivated, as already shown, are wheat, oats, and barley. From 
what has been already said, it will be seen that, in the parish generally, the proportion 
of wheat to the other two grains is rather less ; but from a private record kept for 
many years of the grain crops produced on lands in the neighbourhood of the burgh, 
we find that in that locality it is rather more than the others. This produce has varied 
little from year to year, and the following is the result on a given quantity of land* for 

* We do not state the number of acres on which this was produced, the object being merely to show the rela- 
tive proportion of the different kinds of grain cultivated. 


one year; wheat, 461 bolls; barley, 397 bolls ; oats, 390 bolls. It is much to be wished 
that the average gross amount of agricultural produce of the parish could be ascertained ; 
but in a parish where property is so much divided, there being 172 heritors, or rather 
1 72 small properties, liable to pay stipend, and where the soil is so very varied, this seems 
to be almost impossible. It is not uncommon, however, to find land yielding 3? quar- 
ters of wheat, 6 quarters of barley, and 51 of oats per acre. Summer fallow is but lit- 
tle adopted in the parish, the supply of manure being so abundant, and the value of 
green crops being so great, from the consumption of the town, that the system of green 
cropping is preferred. The green crops cultivated, are grass and clover, turnips and 
potatoes. The latter are extensively cultivated, as besides the supply of the town, 
there is of late years a very regular demand for the London market. The value 
of these crops may be estimated from the result of roups within the parish; it being 
common to dispose of them in this way, burdening the purchaser with lifting and 
removing them by a fixed time, in the case of potatoes and turnips ; and of cutting and 
removing in the case of sown grass and clover. The prices obtained are various, rang- 
ing for grass from L.10 to L. 16 5s. per acre; for turnips from L.8 to L.12 per acre; 
and for potatoes from L.12 to L.22 per acre. Pease or beans are little if at all planted 
in the parish. As there is no tract of waste land in the parish, the whole may be said 
to be cultivated, with the exception of the lawns, and a clump of planting around the 
seats of Wemyss-hall, Tarvet, Ferrybank, Springfield, and Dalyell. 

Horses are to a small extent bred in the parish for agricultural purposes, and every care 
is bestowed on the preservation and improvement of the breed of this noble and useful 
animal. Upwards of sixty years ago, there were twelve or thirteen flocks of sheep kept 
in the parish ; but in consequence of the improvements in the cultivation of the land, this 
has long ceased to be the case. Of late years, however, it has been the practice of one 
tenant to purchase a flock in Autumn, for the purpose of eating off his turnips, and 
selling them again in the Spring; but no attempt is made at keeping up a stock for 
breeding ; nor would the nature of the system of husbandry pursued seem to permit 
this being done. 

The farms are of various extent, some consisting of 300 or 250 acres; whilst others 
contain only 40 or 50 acres ; but these smaller farms are generally held by persons 
residing in the town, who are engaged in other employments. Many of the farms 
are in the natural possession of the proprietors. Where they are let to tenants, it is 
in the larger farms on a lease for the odd number of nineteen years, with entry at Mar- 
tinmas ; but in the smaller holdings near the burgh, the period varies from that num- 
ber down to three or four years. The rent is now generally converted into a grain 
rent, being payable according to the fiar prices of wheat, barley, and oats, as ascer- 
tained by the Sheriff and a jury, yearly, between the beginning of February and the 
middle of March. Where so much of the land is possessed by the proprietors, where 
the rent of what is let must vary from year to year, according to the rise or fall of the 


markets, and where the soil differs so much in quality, it is difficult to give an average, 
which will accurately show the rent of the better class of land in the parish. In some 
places, small spots have let for six and seven pounds per acre within the last few years. 
According to its quality and distance from town, the rent varies from L.5 to L.2 10s. 
per acre ; while for some of the worst descriptions of soil attempted to be cultivated, 
L.l 10s. is paid. In estimating an average, however, this description of soil unques- 
tionably should not be taken into account. Setting these portions of land aside, there- 
fore, we believe it will be found that the average rent of land within the parish, worthy 
of cultivation, is from L.3 to L.3 10s. per acre. If they are included, the average may 
be considered as about from L.2 5s. to L.2 10s. But little of the soil is laid down in 
grass for grazing ; but where this is the case, about L.6 per annum is the rent paid 
for grazing a cow or ox, and L.l 10s. for a sheep. The total real rental of the parish, 
as taken in 1829, for a process of augmentation before the tiend court, was L.9977 
lis. 9d. sterling. In 1832, this rental was examined, and generally acquiesced in, as 
a fair rule for laying on the cholera assessment. As assessed in 1815 for the property 
tax, the rent of the landward part of the parish was L.7503 sterling; that of the 
burgh L.6553 sterling. The valued rent of the landward portion of the parish is 
L.5331 Scots; whilst the valued rent of the burgh lands, and other real property 
within burgh, is assumed to be L.1912 Scots. 

The farm steadings are neat and commodious; and the offices well suited to the 
purposes required. There are 22 thrashing mills in the parish, all the farms of any 
extent being provided with them. Of these three or four are driven by water, and the 
rest by horses. The tenants of the smaller portions of land near the town, who have 
not mills on their own grounds, get their work done with little inconvenience at the 
Cupar mills. The wages of farm servants generally are — for married men from L.9 
to L. 10 in money, 61 bolls of meal, a pint of milk each day, from 6 to 10 bolls of pota- 
toes, a free house and garden, and coals driven ; young, or unmarried men, receive 
from L. 10 to L.l 2 in money; and when in a bothie they receive 61 bolls of meal, and 
a pint of milk each day. The wages of the best day labourer Is. 4d. per day. Women 
employed in farm work receive from 8d. to 9d. for a day of nine hours. 

XXI. In the summer of 1821, a society was instituted at Cupar denominated the 
" Fife Agricultural Society." The object of this society is the general encouragement 
of agriculture, and in particular the breeding of horses, cattle and sheep. A general 
meeting of the society and a cattle show is held at Cupar yearly, on the last Thursday 
in March. On these occasions premiums are given by the society for the best speci- 
mens of stallions, mares, and colts, and for the best specimens of bulls and cows of 
different breeds as may be given out to the competitors. Competitors are also entered 
into under the sanction of the society, for other objects connected with agriculture by 
the members, in which subscriptions under the form of sweepstakes are the reward of 
the successful competitors. After the show the members and their friends dine to- 


gether; when the new premiums are given out, and sweepstakes are subscribed 
to be contended for in the ensuing year. The benefits of this society in causing an in- 
terchange of information and knowledge between the different districts of the county, and 
in keeping up a laudable feeling of good will between landlord and tenant are obvious. 
But its great object, the improvement of horses and live stock, and the creation of a 
spirit of generous emulation and rivalry among agriculturists, has already proved, and 
must continue to prove of the highest practical advantage. Its shows have continued 
to improve since its institution ; indeed the stallions exhibited at the last show, whether 
taken as to number or excellence, would not have disgraced a meeting patronised by 
the Highland Society. In 1834, another society was formed for the protection and 
encouragement of agriculture, denominated "The Fifeshire Agricultural Association." 
While its general meetings are held at Cupar, it has district committees in all the other 
districts of the county. Its object, as shown by its title, is not only the encouragement 
but the protection of the interests of the landholder and of the practical agriculturist. 
The Cupar Horticultural society was instituted in 1820 for the promotion of Horticul- 
ture in the district ; exhibitions of flowers, fruit, and vegetables, are held at different 
periods throughout the year, competitions are entered into, and prizes awarded to the 
successful competitors. 

XXII. In 1763 the revenue from the Post Office of Cupar was L.80 per annum; 
and in 1796 it had risen to L.360 per annum. The gross receipts at present, and it 
has varied little for several years back, is L.1500 sterling. The amount of stamps sold 
in Cupar yearly is L. 7,600 ; and the amount of assessed taxes paid by the parish yearly 
is L.880 sterling. 

Note. Since the preceding account of Cupar went to press, we have seen the following documents, which are 
printed by the Maitland Club in their Miscellany. From the indenture, which is dated 1621, it is perfectly obvi- 
ous that Lamont is erroneous in giving that year as the origin of the races at Cupar, as the race course seems then 
to have been well known. Indeed, there is little doubt that Cupar race course owes its origin to the residence 
of James VI, at Falkland ; as it is admitted that horse racing was introduced into England from Scotland by that 
monarch, or at least that it was revived there by him. The following are the documents alluded to :— 

" Ane Indentour of ane Horse raise betuix my lord Mortoun, Abercorn. 
and Boyde, 

The erle of Mortoun obleissis himselff to produce George Rutherfuirdis Barb Naig : The erle of Abircorne 
obleissis him to produce his gray Naig. My lord Boyd obleissis him to produce his bay horse : upon the condi- 
tiounis following. Thay ar to run the first Thuirsday of November nixtocum, threi mett myleis of Cowper raise 
in Fyff ; The waidger to be for euery horse ten dowbill Anegellis, The foirmest horse to win the haill threttv, ilk 
rydare to be aucht scottis stane wecht. And the pairtie not compearand, or refuissand to consign the waidger, 
sail vndergo the foirfaltour of this sowme, and that money fourfaltit, sal be addit to the staik to be tane away by 


the wynner, Forder, we declair it to be Iesum to ony gentilman to produce ane horse, and the like waidger, and 
thay sal be welcum. Subscryuitt with all our hands. At Haramiltoune, the fyfteine day off August 1621." 

(Signed) "Mortoun. 

The Mercurius Caledonius for the first week of March 1661, contains the following quaint advertisement : 
" The famous Horse Course of Couper in Fyfe, which by the iniquity of the times hath been so long buried to the 
great dissatisfaction of our nobility and gentry, is to be run, conform to the institution, upon the second Tuesday 
of April : There is a considerable number of horses to carry on the work of the day : among others a Waywood 
of Polonia hath a Tartarian horse. This noble Gentleman was pleased to come to this nation to congratulate our 
happy restouration : And it is to be desired that such curious gallants as come from forreign nations to see the 
course, that they do not, as others formerly did, sleep in the time of the solemnity. It is now clearly made to 
appear by a frequent concourse of gentry in these fields, that the report of the horse infection was an absolute 



I. This parish, which was anciently called Logie-Murdoch, lies to the north-east of 
Cupar, its nearest point being rather more than two miles distant from the cross of the 
burgh. Stretching from the south-west to the north-east, its length is about four miles 
and a quarter: in breadth, it varies in different places, from one mile to one mile and 
a half. On the south it is bounded by the parishes of Dairsie and Leuchars ; on the 
east by Leuchars and Forgan; and on the north and west by the parish of Kilmany. 
Occupying a portion of the south-eastern extremity of the Ochill hills, which are here, 
near their termination, broken up into several parallel ridges or small mountain ranges, 
its general surface is irregular and hilly, and considerably elevated above the valley of 
the Eden. The highest eminence in the parish is Lucklawhill, near its eastern extre- 
mity, which rises about 600 feet above the level of the sea; and from whence there 
is an extensive view, particularly towards the north, where it commands the whole 
of the east coast as far as Arbroath. This hill consists of a yellow coloured felspar 
porphyry, very hard and susceptible of a very fine polish ; the summit being compact 
flesh-red felspar. Tradition says that the kings of Scotland, when residing at Falk- 
land or St Andrews, used to follow the chase on this hill, in consequence of which 
it is called the King's Park. The only village in the parish is a small one near the 
parish church ; but there is neither inn nor ale house in it, nor indeed in any part 
of the parish. Neither does any turnpike road pass through any portion of the parish ; 
but the statute labour roads are good and well kept, though necessarily hilly. The 
extent of statute labour roads within the parish is four miles 1730 yards. The post 
and market town is Cupar, which is distant about four and a half miles from the 
church. No public conveyance of any kind passes through the parish. 

II. There are twelve heritors in the parish who possess property above L.50 of 
vearly rent, only one of whom, however, resides in the parish : — William M'Kenzie, 
Esq. of Forret; Robert Lindsay, Esq. of Straiton ; David Gillespie, Esq. of Mont- 
quhany, proprietor of Cruvie ; the trustees of the late Sir William Fettes, of Den- 
brae ; George Johnston Lindsay, Esq. of Kirkforthar, proprietor of Kedloch ; John 
Millar Bowman, Esq. of Logie ; and Walter Millar, Esq. of Tor-Kedloch. Besides 
these, there are two heritors whose rental is under L.50 ; Robert Russell of Tor- 
Forret, and Robert Murdoch of Tor-Forret; and a number of feuars who possess 
feus of from one to eight acres. 

Denbrae and Kedloch are situated at the west end of the parish, where it marches 
with Kilmany. The former of these properties, belonged at the time Sibbald wrote 
to Mr James Preston, uncle of Sir John Preston of Prestonhall ;— " His dwelling," 


says Sibbald, " is a very fine house in the town of Cupar." This fine old house is 
still in existence. It is situated in the Bonnygate, and is at present possessed by 
William Drummond, Esq., writer. East of these lands is Forret, anciently the pos- 
session of the Forrets of that ilk. John Forret of Forret was, in 1466, one of the 
assize for clearing the marches of the abbot of Dunfermline, already alluded to in the 
account of Cupar. In 1540 a son of this house, who had been vicar of Dollar, suffered 
martyrdom on the castle hill at Edinburgh. * The estate afterwards passed into the 
hands of Sir David Balfour, who was fourth son of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmiln. 
He was appointed lord advocate in 1650. In 1674 he was knighted, appointed a 
judge of the court of session, and took his seat on the bench under the title of lord 
Forret. The following year he was also appointed a judge of the court of justiciary. 
He was elected a commissioner for the county of Fife, to the parliament which met 
in 16S5, chosen one of the lords of the articles, and appointed a commissioner for the 
plantation of kirks. He died shortly after the revolution. i 

On the south side of the parish, and not far from the church, is the place and lands 
of Logie, which belonged, in the reign of Robert III., to Sir John Wemyss of Reres and 
Kincaldrum, ancestor of the earls of Wemyss. j He founded a chapel at Reres, with 
six marks of money furth of his lands of Logymurtache, and six marks furth of the 
lands of Pursk in the barony of Leuchars.$ In the reign of James VI., the lands of 
Logie were possessed by a younger branch of this noble family. In the Minstrelsy 
of the Scottish Border, Sir Walter Scott has published a ballad called " The Laird 
of Logie,|| founded on an incident which occurred to Wemyss of Logie, who appears 
to have been a young gallant at the court of the Scottish Solomon. " In the year 
1592," says Sir Walter in his introduction to the ballad, " Francis Stuart, earl of 
Bothwell, was agitating his frantic, and ill-concerted attempts against the person of 
James VI., whom he endeavoured to surprise in the palace of Falkland. Through 
the emulation and private rancour of the courtiers, he found adherents even about 
the king's person ; among whom it seems was the hero of the ballad." The adventure 
which gave rise to the ballad is thus stated in a curious chronicle which has been pub- 
lished under the title of " The Historie of King James the Sext." 

" In this close tyme, it fortunit that a gentleman callit Weymis of Logye, being 
also in credence at court, was delatit as a traffekker with Frances erle Bothwell ; and 
he being examinat before king and counsall, confessit his accusation to be of veritie, 
that sundry tymes he had spokin with him, expresslie aganis the king's inhibitioun 
proclamit on the contrare, whilk confession he subscryvit with his hand ; and because 
the event of this mater had sik a success, it sail also be praysit be my pen, as a worthie 
turne, proceiding from honest chest love and charitie, whilk suld on na wayis be obscurit 

* Introduction, p. 108. f History of tl.e senators of the College of Justice, p. 402. 

i Robertson's Index, 133. § Ibid, 150. ]| Minstrelsy of the Scottish border, vol. 3d, p. 131. 



from the posteritie for the gude example ; and therefore I have thought gude to insert 
the same for a perpetual memorie. Queen Anne, our noble princess, was servit with 
dyverss gentilwemen of hir awn cuntrie, and naymelie with ane callit Mres Margaret 
Twynstoun, * to whome this gentilman, Weymes of Logye, bure great honest affection, 
tending to the godlie band of marriage, the whilk was honestlie requytet be the said 
gentilwoman, yea even in his greatest mister ;t for howsone she understude the said 
gentilman to be in distress, and apperantlie be his confession to be puneist to the 
death, and she having prevelege to ly in the queyni's chalmer that same verie night 
of his accusation, whare the king was also reposing that same night, she came furth of 
the dure prevelie, bayth the prencis being then at quyet rest, and past to the chalmer, 
whare the said gentilman was put in custodie to certayne of the garde, and commandit 
thayme that immediatelie he sould be broght to the king and queyne, whareunto they 
geving sure credence obeyit. But howsone she was cum bak to the chalmer dur, 
she desyrit the watches to stay till he sould cum furth agayne, and so she closit the 
dur, and convoyit the gentilman to a windo' whare she ministrat a long corde unto 
him, to convoy himself doun upon ; and sa be hir gude cheritable help, he happelie 
escapit be the subteltie of love." Spottiswoode calls the hero of this tale John 
Wemyss, younger of Logie ; and he adds that the keepers waiting upon his return 
stayed there till morning, and then found themselves deceived. This, with the manner 
of the escape, ministred great occasion of laughter, and not many days after the king 
being pacified by the queen's means, he was pardoned, and took to wife the gentle- 
woman who had on this sort hazarded her credit for his safety. f 

About the middle of last century, the lands of Logie were the property of Walter 
Bowman, Esq. who long resided at Egham in Surrey. This gentleman executed a very 
strict entail of the property, and along with it he entailed his library under the most 
particular injunctions for its preservation. He had travelled much on the continent, 
and appears to have collected a considerable portion of the books there. The library 
contains among others, many valuable editions of the ancient classics, particularly a fine 
edition of Pliny's Natural History, and a splendidly illuminated edition of Ptolemy. 
It also contains a valuable collection of engravings ; a great number of maps and charts, 
and a well preserved copy of Bleau's Atlas. By the terms of the entail, the heir is pro- 
hibited from lending of the books ; but he is bound to keep a suitable room for the 
library in his house, and to allow free access to it to the neighbouring gentlemen there 
to read and study. He is also bound to have a bason with water and a towel, that the 
books may not be soiled with unclean hands ; women and children are expressly prohi- 
bited from having access to the library. A little way to the east of Logie house, at a 
place where a cairn had formerly existed, some workmen while trenching the ground 

* According to Spottiswoode the name was Twynlace. f Necessity. 

X History of the Church of Scotland, p. 3S9. 


lately found an ancient British urn; but from the brittle and decayed state in which it 
was, it unfortunately went to pieces in removing To the south of the house another 
cairn still exists, which does not appear ever to have been opened. The only ancient 
house in the parish is the ruins of the castle of Cruivie, on the lands of that name 
belonging to Mr Gillespie. All that remains of this building is the square tower or 
keep, which bears marks of considerable antiquity. Anciently these lands belonged to 
the Ramsays of Colluthie, a family which ended in an heir female. Elizabeth Ram- 
say, heiress of Colluthie, Cruivie, and Leuchars, married David Carnegie of Panbride, 
ancestor of the Earls of Southesk, who, on 21st December, 1579, received among 
others, a charter of Cruivie. The lands of Cruivie were purchased by John Anstruther 
Esq. of Ardit, who was appointed sheriff of the county in 1811; and after his death 
were purchased by the father of the present proprietor. 

III. The parish church anciently belonged to the abbey of Balmerino, the monks of 
which drew the teinds and supplied the cure. After the reformation, Balmerino and 
Logie were under the charge of one minister ; but about 157 1, Logie was supplied with 
a reader. Shortly after that date a clergyman was appointed for each of the parishes, 
which arrangement has continued ever since. The present church was erected in 
1826. It is a plain unadorned building, but sufficiently commodious, and very conve- 
niently situated in the centre of the parish. It is seated to accommodate 280, and 
none of the seats are let, a proportion of them being set apart by each proprietor for 
tenants and others residing on his own grounds. The attendance on Sabbath is usually 
about 200 ; and there are about 130 communicants. The minister's stipend consists 
of 1 boll 2 pecks of wheat ; 45 bolls 1 firlot 2 pecks of barley ; 39 bolls 1 firlot 1 peck 
1 lippie of meal; 29 bolls 3 pecks 3 lippies of oats; and £82 12s. 2d. in money. The 
teinds are valued and exhausted. The manse and offices are good, and of recent erec- 
tion ; and the glebe contains 7 acres 2 roods imperial measure, and may be worth a 
rent of £12 per annum. 

John West, author of a System of Mathematics, a work of some repute, was son of 
a minister of the parish, about thejniddle of last century. He became an Episcopal 
clergyman in the island of Jamaica ; and at his death left some valuable mathematical 
papers, which came into the hands of the late Sir John Leslie, and which it was his 
intention, had he lived, to have published, with a memoir of the author. 

There is no Dissenting place of worship in the parish : there are, however, about 
thirty Dissenters who chiefly belong to the Relief church, and that of the Associate 

There is no school except the parochial one in the parish. Here the common 
branches of education, reading, writing, and arithmetic, are chiefly taught, but the 
schoolmaster is always qualified to teach the higher branches of English grammar, 
Latin, and practical mathematics; and sometimes has a few scholars receiving instruc- 
tions in these. The school fees are 2s., 2s. 6d., and 3s. per quarter ; and may amount 


altogether to about from £15 to £20 per annum. The teacher has the maximum salary, 
and in addition, 50 merks Scots per annum, the proceeds of an old mortification by an 
heritor of the parish for the support of the reader, an office now rendered unnecessary 
from the appointment of a minister. The teacher has also a free school-room, a dwel- 
ling house and garden. A Sabbath-school has long been taught in the parish, but it is 
chiefly attended by girls. There are none in the parish who cannot read, and but few 
who cannot write, or are unacquainted with arithmetic. 

The average number of poor is about seven. They are supported from collections 
at the church door, the interest of a small sum of money, and from voluntary contribu- 
tions by the heritors. The collections and interest amount to about £18 or £20 per 
annum ; and about the same amount is yearly contributed by the heritors. The poor 
receive from 4s. to 10s. per month, according to their circumstances. There is gene- 
rally an annual collection for religious purposes, the amount of which is from £6 to £7. 

IV. The population in 1755, according to the return of Ur Webster, was 413; in 
1793, when the first statistical account was written, it had increased to 425 ; in 1801, 
it had decreased to 339 ; in 181 1, it had again increased to 369 ; in 1321, to 440. The 
return of 1831, which was 430, shows that it had again begun to decrease; and at 
present (1S38) it is only 410, showing a decrease of 20 persons in seven years. The 
following is the result of the returns made to government in 1831 : — 

Males 20 years of age, 102, total males, 202; females, 228; total persons, 430. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 49; chiefly employed in trade, manufactures, and handicraft, 20; all 
other families, 27 ; total families, 96. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers, ; occupiers not employing labourers, 2 ; labourers employed in agri- 
culture, 51. 

Fersons employed in manufacture, 9 ; persons employed in retail trade or in handicraft, as master or work- 
man, 13. 

Capitalists, professional or other educated men, 4. 

Labourers employed in labour not agricultural, 12 ; female servants, 22. 

Inhabited houses, 92 ; uninhabited, 3 ; building, 4. 

The average number of births for the last seven years has been 9 ; of marriages, 5 ; 
and of deaths, 7. There are 20 persons residing in the parish above 70 years of age. 

V. The soil of the parish varies much ; in many places, particularly on the slopes of 
the hills, it is a rich fertile loam, while in other places it is moorish and thin. It is in 
general well drained, and where this has not hitherto been done, it is rapidly advanc- 
ing, wherever there is a prospect of a profitable return. The parish contains about 
3343 imperial acres; of which 2770 are arable, 307 unarable, and 266 in wood. " At 
an average," says the Rev. Mr Melville, " 302 acres are annually in wheat, 465 in 
barley, 785 in oats, 128 in pease and beans, 149 in potatoes, 239 in turnips, 249 in 
grass cut green and for hay, 660 in pasture, and 42 in fallow."* The system of crop- 

* New Statistical Report, Fifeshire, p. 430. 

PARISH OF loch:. 53 

ping adopted is generally a six years' rotation, alternating as regularly as possible green 
and corn crops. Occasionally, however, this is deviated from on the better class of 
soils, and barley is sown after wheat. Sowing turnip with hone manure has become a 
very general practice ; and in many instance- the) are eaten off by sheep. Since the 
cultivation of potatoes became so general, but a small proportion of the land is kept in 
fallow. The average annual produce per acre, is of wheat, 3 quarters 4 bushels; of 
barley, 4 quarters 4 bushels; of oats, 1 quarters 6 bushels; of peas?, 3 quarters 2 
bushels; of potatoes, 25 bolls, value aboul £10; of turnips, value about £7 ; and of 
hay, 150 stones.* 

Cattle are reared on many of the farms, at the rat • of about 15 for each 200 acr - ; 
and a proportion of these are fattened during winter with turnips, and sold to the 
butcher at three years' old. The Fife breed is generally preferred by those who re; i 
young stock, as the cross with the Tees-water which has been tried, has not been approved 
of. Some of the farmers, however, in consequence of the nature of the soil, do not 
rear young stock ; but buy, feed, and sell at all ages, or so buy as to feed and sell off 
at four or five years' old. Two farmers keep flocks of sheep, selling off a proporti 
every year ; but the others only buy in autumn, a sufficient number for the turnips they 
have raised, and sell them off in the spring. The sheep are of various breeds, black- 
faced, Highland, Cheviot, Leicester, and crosses. There are on the different farms, 
121 horses, 90 milk cows, 257 cattle from on" to three years' old, 114 pigs, and 630 
sheep. Horses for the purpose of husbandry, are also reared on some of the farms. Thej 
are not remarkable for size, but are well-shaped, stout, and active. A pair of horses is 
required for every fifty acres. 

There are eight farms above 200 acres, and four under 100 acres: the leases are f r 
the usual period of nineteen years; the rentboing payable partly in money and partly con- 
verted into a grain rent, according to the Mars of the county. The average rent is about 
£1 ISs. per acre. The total rent of the parish as assessed for the property tax in 1815, 
was £4,282 sterling. The valued rent is £2,916 fis. 8d. Scots. The faruvhouses and 
steadings are good, but in some instances hardly equal to the extent of the farms, or 
the capital and enterprise of the occupiers. A considerable improvement has taken 
place in the cottages which have been erected of late years. The wages and ollu i 
allowances of farm servants are much the same as in the neighbouring parish of Cupar. 
Labourers receive 9s. per week in summer, and 8s. per week in winter; women cm- 
ployed in the fields receive 4s. per week. For wrights, masons, and smiths, the wages 
are from 12s. to 15s. annually. 

* Xev,- Statistic;.! Report, Fifeshire, p. 430. 



I. A considerable part of this parish lies parallel to, and immediately north of, the parish 
of Logie, while at its west end it forms the north boundary of the parish of Cupar. Its 
extreme length from west to east is about six miles; but from the irregularity of its form, 
its breadth is very varied. Towards the west it is about three miles broad; but it suddenly 
contracts towards the east, and for about nearly two-thirds of its length, it is seldom more 
than a mile, and in some places not above half a mile broad. It is bounded on the south by 
the parishes of Cupar and Logie, on the east, where it is scarcely a quarter of a mile broad ; 
by that of Forgan, on the north by those of Forgan and Balmerino, and on the west by 
Creich and Moonzie. Few localities present more features of quiet rural beauty than this 
parish ; and while we walk along its valley, or look upon it from any of the neighbouring 
heights, the appellation of the shepherd bard, intended for a very different object certainly, 
cannot fail to be recalled to the memory of the spectator. "Bonny Kilmany"! it unquestion- 
ably is, and who can look upon its simple beauties without believing, that Kilmany " is pure 
as pure can be." In the west, where it is broadest, it is a succession of softly swelling hill 
and pleasant valley, and towards the east, where it contracts in breadth, it occupies the 
southern slope of a range of hills, and a portion of the bottom of a valley, through which 
the water of Motray seeks its way to the sea. Whatever it may have formerly been, the 
parish is now in general well ornamented with wood, and the neighbouring hills, which 
though not in the parish, form part of the landscape, are, in almost all cases, either culti- 
vated to the top, or planted with trees, and thus add to the general beauty of the scenery. 

There are two hamlets in the parish, but neither of them deserving of being styled a 
village. The one, named Kilmany, is near the parish church, towards the east of the 
parish ; the other, Rathillet, is farther west, and not far from the house of Rathillet. There 
is only one public house in the parish, which is situated in the latter hamlet, near the toll 
bar. The parish has the advantage of excellent roads, the turnpike road to Newport 
passing through almost its entire length ; and the statute labour roads, though hilly, from 
the nature of the ground they traverse, being kept in excellent order. There are 
altogether five miles, 550 yards of turnpike roads, and seven miles, 43 yards of statute 
labour roads. Cupar is the post, and nearest market town; and is about five miles distant 
from the parish church, though not so distant from the western portion of the parish. 

II. There are eleven heritors in the parish, a list of whom we give according to their 
valued rent : — David Gillespie, Esq. of Montquhany, John Anstruther Thomson, Esq. of 
Carlton, proprietor of Kilmany, Charles Kinnear, Esq. of Kinnear, Robert Russell, Esq. 

* The writer has to express his thanks to the Rev. Mr Cook, for his ready assistance in supplying any informa- 
tion in his power, with regard to this parish; and in particular with regard to its agriculture. 

t Queen's Wake, p. 167. Second edition, Edin. 1S14. 


of Hillcairnie, David Carswell, Esq. of Rathillet, Captain Hugh Pearson, of Myrecaimie, 
James Horsburgh, Esq. of Lochmalonie, Henry Wedderburn, Esq. of Birkhill, proprietor 
of Wester Kinnear, Henry Inglis, Esq. of Newington, Mrs Robertson, of Newbigging, 
and John Inglis, Esq. of Colluthie. Of these, five are resident in the parish, and the other 
six non-resident. 

Entering the parish at the south-west we come first to Myrecairnie, situated at the 
bottom of a conical hill, the top of which is beautifully wooded. This, with other portions 
of the Lordship of Cairnie, formed anciently part of the estate of the earls of Fife. It 
appears, however, to have been granted to Sir John Wemyss of Reres and Kincaldrum, 
ancestor of the earls of Wemyss, or to his ancestor during the fourteenth century, as he 
received a charter from Robert III. confirming to him and his heirs all the lands conferred 
on him by Robert, earl of Fife, and among others the lands of Myrecairnie.* His third 
son, Alexander, received these lands, along with others, and was the ancestor of Wemyss 
of Lathockar. In the sixteenth century, Andrew Wemyss, second son of James Wemyss 
of Lathockar, obtained these lands from his father, and was ancestor of the family of Wemyss 
of Myrecairnie. He was made an ordinary lord of Session, 17th November, 1591, and 
was admitted to a seat on the bonch on the 26th of that month, under the title of Lord 
Myrecairnie.f He appears in the sederunts of the court so late as March 1615, and pro- 
bably died in 16174 North of Myrecairnie and on the other side of the hill, is Hillcairnie, 
now the property of Mr Russell, which at the time Sibbald wrote was the property of Mr 
Robert Ross of Innernethy in Perthshire, a cadet of Ross of Craigie in that shire. 

Proceeding still further north is Murdocairnie, which lands appear to have remained attached 
to the Earldom of Fife till the forfeiture in the reign of James I., when they became vested 
in the crown. In 1536, and 15-12, Sir James Melville of Raith, ancestor of the Earl of 
Melville, obtained charters to himself and Helen Naiper his wife, of the king's lands of 
Murdocairnie in Fife. They appear afterwards to have been disponed by him to Sir Robert 
Melville, his second son, who was a very eminent character during the reigns of Mary and 
James. He went abroad early in life, and was much noticed and honourably employed at 
the court of France. In the year 1559, he returned to Scotland, and was sent to England 
with Maitland of Lethingtou, to solicit the assistance of Queen Elizabeth for the Lords of 
the congregation. He was sworn a privy councillor in 1562, and was frequently employed 
in embassies to England. On the 14th February, 1563-4, he obtained a charter to himself 
and his wife, Catharine Adamson, of part of the lands of Murdocairnie and Star. After 
the rebellion of the Earl of Murray in 1665, he was employed by him to intercede for his 
pardon with Queen Mary; and was shortly afterwards sent to England as ambassador, 
an office which he performed with zeal and talent, skillfully unravelling to his mistress the 

* Douglas Peerage, p. 61 7. 
t " 1595, 29th November, Myrecairney excusit till the 6th day of December in respect of the late harvest." 
Book of Sed. 

t Account of the Senators of College of Justice, p. 220. 


crooked policy of Elizabeth and her ministers. He was sent to England as ambassador 
alter the death of Darnley, and again, after the marriage of Mary with Bothwell. After 
the escape of Mary from Lochleven, he joined her at Hamilton, and publicly avowed the 
restraint under which she had acted in resigning the crown. In the civil war which fol- 
lowed the murder of the regent Murray, he adhered to the party of Maitland of Lething- 
ton and the brave Kirkaldy of Grange. He was in the castle of Edinburgh at the time of 
its surrender; and would have shared the fate of that good soldier, but for the interference 
of the English ambassador.* During the remainder of the regency of Morton he appears 
to have lived in retirement. He was appointed treasurer depute in 1582, was created a 
knight, and about this time received grants of different land* in Fife. He was sent by 
James VI. in 1586 to England, to endeavour to save the life of his mother; and, though 
unsuccessful, was faithful and zealous in his exertions. He was made vice-chancellor of the 
kingdom when James left Scotland for Norway, in 1539, and received the grateful thanks 
of his majesty on his return. In June, 1594, he was appointed an extraordinary lord of 
session, and took his seat as Lord Murdocairnie.! He was finally raised to the peerage by 
the title of Lord Melville of Monimail, on the 30th April, lb'16, and died in 1621, at the 
advanced age of 94. He was succeeded by his son, who, dying without issue, was suc- 
ceeded by his cousin, John Melville of Raith, whose brother, Thomas Melville, acquired 
from him the lands of Murdocairnie, and became ancestor of the Melvilles of Murdocairnie. 
His descendants continued possessors of the lands till the present century. 

East of Murdocairnie is Lochmalonie, the seat of the late Major Horsburgh, and 
where his family still reside. It is a good house, beautifully situated, with the surround- 
ing grounds well wooded. This place of old belonged to a family who had taken the 
>;une name, as in the brief of perambulation already referred to, Allan Lochmalony of 
Lochmalony, is one of the assize. | Afterwards the lands became the property of Turn- 
bull of Airdrie ; and by marriage with the daughter of William Turnbull of Airdrie, 
they were acquired by Sir John Preston of Pennycuik. Sir John Preston of Airdrie, 
son of this marriage, sold the lands of Lochmalonie in 1669, to Mr George Diston, who 
had been previously minister of Cults, but was deposed in consequence of refusing to 
conform to Episcopacy. The lands "stood him," says Lamont,j| "about six or seven 

* Account of the Senators of the College of Justice, p. 227; Douglas peerage, vol. ii. p. 112. 

t The king's letter of nomination states that his majesty had "experience of the faithful service done to us at 
all tymes by Sir Robert, and how willing he is to discharge his dewtie therein to our honor and wiell of our 

!m and lieges thereof." — Bouks of Sed. He resigned his office of treasurer depute in 1586, in consequence 
of the appointment of the Qctavians, at which time the king was largely in his debt. In 1597, an act was passed 
by which his majesty with advice of the estates, promise ' to par the balance due, and prohibited any diligence 
being executed at the instance of his creditors against him, until he should be so paid. — Books of Sed. On the 
20th February, 1G0.3, a discharge was granted to him, his wife, and son, during their lives of the feu-duties pay- 
able to the crown, for the lands of Murdocairnie, on the narrative of the king's "remembering the gude, trew, 
and thankful service done to us continually sen our infancie," by Sir Robert and his son, " albiet as yet not dewlie 
recompansit." — Act. Pari. IV. p. 204, 4.55. 

t Sunra, p. § Diary, p. 213. || History of Fife, p. 228. 


thousand merks." The family of Diston or Dischington, of Lochmalonie, continued 
many years in possession of the lands ; but at the commencement of the present cen- 
tury they were the property of Major Thomas Scott, whose daughter and heiress mar- 
ried the late Major Horsburgh. 

North of Lochmalonie is Rathillet, a small house situated upon the water of Motrav, 
the grounds of which are well enclosed. The lands of Rathillet were the property of 
the crown till the reign of Malcolm IV., when on the marriage of Duncan, earl of Fife, 
sixth in descent from Macduff, with Ada, niece of Malcolm, the crown lands of Strath- 
miglo, Falkland, Kettle, and Rathillet in Fife, and of Strathbran in Perthshire, were 
conferred upon him by a charter, which is quoted by Sibbald. The lands of Rathillet 
formed a portion of the lands belonging to the Earldom at the time of the forfeiture, 
when of course they again reverted to the crown. They afterwards became the pro- 
perty of a family of the name of Hackston or Halkerston. One of this family, David 
Hackston, proprietor of Rathillet, was a leading man among the covenanters during 
the latter part of the seventeenth century ; and has, in consequence of various transac- 
tions in which he was engaged, obtained a rather questionable notoriety. Little appears 
to be known concerning him, till he is found among the party who murdered archbishop 
Sharp at Magus Moor, on the 3d of May, 1679. Mr Hackston did not personally 
assail the archbishop, but he certainly approved of the deed; and only objected to 
taking the command of the assassins on the ground of his having a private quarrel with 
their unhappy victim, and it might be said that private revenge, rather than the vindica- 
tion of public justice, had led them to the commission of the deed they meditated. 
Being obliged to conceal himself in consequence of this murder, he retired for a time 
to the north, but afterwards joined the main body of the covenanters in Lanarkshire, 
where a declaration was drawn up which Mr Hackston assisted in proclaiming at the 
market cross of Rutherglen, on the anniversary of the restoration of Charles II. He 
fought at Drumclog, and afterwards on the 22d of June at Bothwell-bridge, where he 
commanded a troop of horse, and was the last to leave the field of battle: indeed, had 
his advice been followed on that day, the result might have been very different from what 
it'was. He was now proclaimed a rebel, and a reward of 10,000 merks offered for his 
apprehension. For a time he lurked about in concealment with the remains of the 
party ; but was finally taken prisoner at Airsmoss by Bruce of Earlshall. He was 
subsequently tried at Edinburgh, condemned, and executed, with all the horrid circum- 
stances forming the punishment of treason. His head was fixed on the Netherbow ; 
and different portions of his dismembered body were fixed up at St Andrews, Magus 
Moor, Cupar, Burntisland, Leith, and Glasgow. " Thus," says John Howie of Loch- 
goin, the biographer of the " Scots Worthies," " fell this champion for the caase of 
Christ, a sacrifice to prelatic fury, to gratify the lust and ambition of wicked and bloody 
men. Whether his courage, constancy, or faithfulness had the pre-eminence, it is hard 
to determine." Hackston certainly appears to have been a man of determination and 

VOL. II. h 


courage, and much superior to the generality of the party with which he had associated 
himself; but he was obviously strongly infected with their erroneous views, or he 
never could have allowed himself to believe that he was doing God's work, as it was 
impiously styled, by sanctioning the commission of murder. His heirs continued in 
possession of the estate of Rathillet till towards the close of last century, when it was 
sold bv Mr Hellenus Hackston to a Mr Sweet, by whom again it was sold to the late 
Mr David Caldwell, the father of the present proprietor. 

East of Rathillet, are the lands and village of Kilmany, the property of John An- 
struther Thomson, Esq, of Carlton, who has a very beautiful cottage here, near the 
village. Immediately to the north of the village, on the lands of Kilmany, there is a 
romantic den, called Goules den, through which a stream finds its way to the Motray. 
This ravine seems to have been occasioned by a disruption of the trap-hills which 
bound the valley to the north, and has been further worn down by the stream which 
flows through it. Its banks have been planted with trees, and walks made through it, 
which render it of easy access ; and assuredly though on a small scale it is eminently 
picturesque, and its little water-falls and overhanging rocks present a variety of scenes 
of great interest. The traditions of the district people it with supernatural inhabitants; 
and " white ladies," and shades of those that have been, are seen after nightfall by those 
who have the hardihood to venture at the witching hour within its precincts. Farther 
east, at the extremity of the parish, are easter and wester Kinnear, the property res- 
pectively of Charles Kinnear, Esq., and Henry Wedderburn, Esq. of Birkhill. Sibbald 
says, that " Kinneir, was a very ancient possession of gentlemen of the same name of 
Kinneir. They have a charter" he continues, " by king Alexander II. I find one 
Willielmus de Kiner in king William's time. In the cartulary of Balmerinoch, there 
is a charter bearing that 'Symon Alius et hreres Symonis de Kyner, dedit Deo, S. 
Marie, et Monachis de Balmerinach in eleemosinam pro salute animarum, &c, medie- 
tatem totius terre in feodo de Kyner."* This donation is confirmed by king Alexander 
II., 21, Septembris, anno regni 22do. Easter Kinnear, at Sibbald's time, had become 
the property of Mr John Falconer, Advocate; and was purchased at about the close of 
last century by the ancestor of the present proprietor. 

North of Rathillet, and on the face of a range of hills, which form the north boundary 
of the valley, with a fine southern exposure, is Montquhany, the residence of David 
Gillespie, Esq. The house is of modern erection, plain in its architecture, but com- 
modious, and surrounded by thriving and extensive plantations. Montquhany an- 
ciently formed a part of the estates of the earldom of Fife, and we find Duncan, the 
last earl of Fife of the line of Macduff, giving the whole lands of " Moulhany " to 
Michael Balfour, his relation, in exchange for the lands of Pittencrieff, which grant 
was confirmed by David II. in 1353. Of this branch of the family of Balfour, Knoxf 

* This in Sibbald's time was called Little Kinnear, now Wester Kinnear. 
t History, p. 82. 


says, it was a house in which there was " neither fear of God nor love of virtue, farther 
than the present commodity persuaded them ;" and yet it appears that David Balfour, 
son of the laird of Montquhany, was one of the murderers of Cardinal Beaton, and his 
elder brother, Sir James Balfour, subsequently of Pittendriech and Montquhany, joined 
the assassins shortly afterwards, and was taken by the French, when the castle of St 
Andrews was surrendered to them in July 1547, was sent to France, and confined in 
the same gallev with Knox.* But they were not steady to their party, which is ob- 
viously the cause of Knox's dislike to the house of which they were descended. Sir 
James returned to Scotland in 1549, and was appointed official of Lothian. t On the 
breaking out of hostilities between the queen regent and the lords of the congregation 
in 1559, he at first joined the former, but latterly came over to the lords, though only 
apparently for the purpose of betraying them, as a boy of his was taken with a writ, 
which "did open the most secret thing that was devised in the cour.csl, yea, those very 
things which were thought to have been known but to very few."| He escaped the 
search of the reformers of Fife in February 1560, when the lords of Wemyss, Seafield, 
and others were taken prisoners, and he was about the same time appointed to the 
rectory of Flisk. 

Shortly after the return of queen Mary from France he was appointed an extraor- 
dinary lord of Session under the title of Lord Pittendreich, and about two years after 
(1563) he was made an ordinary lord. At the constitution of the commissary court of 
Edinburgh in 1564, he was named to the first place, with a salary of 400 marks, and 
was sworn a privy councillor in July 1565. These marks of royal favour excited the 
malice of his enemies, and it was intended to have hanged him, on the night ofRizzio's 
murder, but that he made his escape. $ He was afterwards knighted by the queen, and 
appointed Clerk register in place of Mr James Macgill who was supposed to have 
been concerned in the murder. In 1566 he was one of the commissioners for revising 
and publishing the old laws, called Regiam Majestatem, &c, and the acts of parliament! 
But now a black page appears in the history of his life, as he is said to have been the 
original deviser of the murder of Darnley, to have framed the bond for mutual support 
entered into by the conspirators, and to have prepared the house of the Kirk of field, 
which belonged to his brother, for the reception of the intended victim, 1 although he 
was not present at the murder. He was openly accused of having been accessory to 
it, however, and a paper of the following tenor was affixed to the door of the Tolbooth of 
Edinburgh on the night of the 16th of February, a few days after the deed had been 
committed: "I, according to the proclamation, have made inquisition for the slaughter 
of the king, and do find the Earl of Bothwell, Mr James Balfour parson of Flisk, Mr 

* History, p. 92. f Balfour's Practics, Goodal's preface, p. 1. 

J Knox Hist. p. 200. Bucch. Hist. xvi. 45. 

§ Keith's Hist. p. 338. || Douglas' peerage, vol. i. p. 177. ^j Chalmers' Life of Mary, vol. ii. p. 25 


David Chambers, and black Mr John Spence, the principal devisers thereof, and if this 
be not true speir at Gilbert Balfour."* He was now an active coadjutor for a time, 
with the enemies of the unfortunate queen who had so honoured him ; although pro- 
fessedly he had not joined them. Early in 1567, he was appointed deputy governor of 
Edinburgh castle under the Earl of Bothwell,! and according to the enemies of Mary it 
was to him that Bothwell, after the surrender of the queen at Carberrv, sent for the casket 
said to contain the letters which formed the alleged evidence of her sruilt. This is 
a dark subject, and whether he merely sanctioned a report of these letters having been 
sent, and seized on the person of a servant of Bothwell, or whether they really were 
sent, and he gave notice to the enemies of the queen when they might be seized, is 
never likely to be cleared up, but is in either case sufficiently disgraceful to his name. 

Shortly after these transactions, he surrendered the castle of Edinburgh to the regent 
Murray, while the queen was a prisoner at Lochleven; and he did so under such terms 
as no honest man would have been connected with. These were, 1st, a pardon for his 
share in the king's murder; 2d, a gift of the priory of Pittenwecn, then held by the 
regent in commendam; 3d, an heritable annuity to his son out of the rents of the Priory 
of St Andrews ; 4th, a gift of £500 to himself; and 5th, the delivery of the castle into 
the hands of his friend, Kirkaldy of Grange, j These terms being fulfilled he resigned 
his office of Clerk register to please the regent, who re-appointed Sir James Macgill ; 
and Sir James Balfour was farther gratified by a pension of £500, and promoted to 
be president of the court of Session on 6th December 1567. He was present at the 
battle of Langside, was instrumental in obtaining that decisive victory against his 
former benefactress. In 156S and 1569 he was engaged busily in intrigues for Mary; 
and after the death of the regent he openly joined the party of the queen. § At the 
time Maitland, and Kirkaldy of Grange maintained Edinburgh castle for the queen 
he joined them, and was in consequence forfeited in August 1571. fl By the latter 
end of the following year, however, he deserted their party, made his peace with 
Morton, and was a chief instrument in bringing about the pacification of Perth, 
which left Maitland and Kirkaldy to the tender mercies of their ruthless enemy. 
As if to fill up the measure of his treachery to his former friends, he now informed 
the regent Morton, that Kirkaldy's brother was about to land at Blackness with a 
supply of money from France, in consequence of which measures were taken for in- 
tercepting it. 

In 1573 he was obliged to make his escape into France to avoid a trial for his share 
in the murder of Darnley; but after James VI. had assumed the reigns of government 
he returned to organize a plan for the destruction of Morton, which he effected by 
producing, it is said, the celebrated bond signed by that nobleman and others 

* Keith's Hisr. p. 36?. t Douglas peerage, vol. I. p. 177. 

t Hist. James Saxt. p. 18. § Buchanan, xLs. 20, Baira. Jour. p. 14. || Bann. Jour. '-58. 


for the support of Bothwell, and other written evidence of his guilt. The precise date 
of his death is not known, but it is supposed to have been about 1583. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Michael Balfour of Burleigh, and Balgarvie, by whom he acquired 
these lands, and from him the Lords Balfour of Burleigh were descended. He is 
the reputed author of the well known collection of decisions called Balfour's Practics, 
though this is questionable, as appears from the observations of Lord Hailes, Mr Thom- 
son and Mr Tytler, but at any rate they must have been subsequently much interpolated 
and added to after his time. Dr Robertson stigmatises Sir James as "the most corrupt 
man of his age;"* a sentence which infers no little degree of guilt in an age where all were 
so corrupt. It is confirmed however by Bannatyne, who says that " whenever he saw 
tyme he culd wag as the buss wagged, and tak the way that myght mak him advance- 
ment, howbeit that the same were to the destruction of all honest and godlie men, Lind 
of his native country also."! In the seventeenth century Montquhany was acquired 
by Mr James Crawford, a cadet of a family of that name in the west country.]: About 
the beginning of the present century it was purchased by the late David Gillespie, Esq. 
of Kirkton, father of the present proprietor. 

West of Montquhany and north of Murdocairnie, where the parish marches with 
Creich, is Star, which lands were granted, as already mentioned, in 1563-4, to Sir Robert 
Melville, with the lands of Murdocairnie. Star is now the property of David Gillespie, 
Esq. On these lands a short time ago some stone coffins were disinterred, and farther 
north at Drummond some British urns were found, both, in all probability, marking this 
locality as the scene of some of those early conflicts of which history gives little or 
no account. 

III. The church of Kilmany, stands on a rising ground near the village, on the 
water of Motray, in a pleasant situation; but inconvenient for the greater part of 
the parish, as it is a great deal too far to the east. It is however well and 
regularly attended; the usual number of communicants are 270. The stipend is 
eight bolls wheat, 116 bolls barley, 116 bolls meal, and £8. 6s. 8d. sterling for 
communion elements. The glebe contains ten acres; and the manse and offices 
are in excellent condition. They are finely situated on the opposite side of the 
water of Motray from the church. Anciently this church was a rectory belonging to 
the archbishopric, and subsequently belonged to the college of St Salvator's, having been 
gifted to that college at its institution by Bishop Kennedy. James Bruce, a younger son 
of Sir Robert Bruce of Clackmannan, was appointed rector of the parish, where he 
performed his duty with great diligence for some years. On the death of Bishop 
Lauder of Dunkeld, he was preferred to that see, and was consecrated in the abbey 
church of Dunfermline about February 1441. Being a person of great learning, 
judgment, and integrity, he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Scotland in the year 

* Hist, of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 354. f Journal, p. 449. j Sibbald, p. 111. 


1444, succeeding Bishop Kennedy. Of him Dr Miller says, in his lives of the Bishops 
of Dunkeld/'Ecclesiam suam decoravit pretiosa cappa, et quatuor pretiosis vestimentis, 
et ecclesiam de Abernet assignavit quatuor vicariis chori Dunkelden in perpetuum." 
His character in the church was very high at this time, but neither this, nor his 
authority in the kingdom as lord chancellor, could protect him from the insults and 
oppressions of his highland neighbours, Robert Reoch Macdonachie, the ancestor of 
the Robertsons of Strowan, and from whom they derive their name, a powerful but 
lawless chieftain ravaged his lands of Little Dunkeld ; in consequence of this a deadly 
feud arose, in which some blood was shed, and lives lost. Through the means of Lord 
Glamis this difference was adjusted, but it is probable it disgusted the lord chancellor 
with his bishopric; and on the death of Bishop Cameron, he was elected to the see of 
Glasgow about the end of the year 1446. Before all the necessary forms however for 
his translation were dispatched, he died in the year 1447, about six years after he had 
left the parish of Kilmany, and after having held the office of lord chancellor for three 
years.* He is omitted in Sibbald's list of persons belonging to Fife who held that 

The late Rev. Dr John Cook, who was for sixteen years Professor of Divinity at 
St Andrews, was for nine years minister of this parish, and wrote the first statistical 
report. He was removed from hence to the Hebrew, which chair he filled for four 
years ; delivering during that time a series of very valuable lectures on the lan- 
guage, history, literature, and antiquities of the Jews. In 1808, he was appointed 
professor of divinity, and in this new capacity his learning and profound metaphysical 
acumen were equally conspicuous. He published an enquiry into the books of the 
New Testament, which, however, exhibits but an abstract of a small portion of his learned 
prelections. He was, however, one of those singularly constituted men, who, if repu- 
tation had been his ambition, might have been called unhappy, inasmuch as he possessed 
all the qualities which can entitle man to intellectual distinction, yet died without more 
than parsimoneous requital for the benefits he had conferred on the commonwealth of 
letters, and with little more than local fame. His manners were peculiar, being at once 
formal and yet simple, courteous yet eccentric. His principles were stern and unbend- 
ing, and would have suited a stricter age, and more elevated condition of social exertions, 
better than what prevailed in the times in which his lot was cast. The cast of his mind 
was searching, clear, and metaphysical; yet his expressions were from their depth 
sometimes obscure. His powers of extempore verbal criticism were unparalelled. When 
professor of divinity he could listen for two or three hours to discourses delivered by 
different individuals, and then without notes or reference to authorities, when he came to 
comment upon them, go over all their qualities or defects, and refer to every author 
who had treated on similar subjects. With these lofty and serene qualities of moral 

* Crawford's Officers of State, p. 34. 


and intellectval endowment, he beautifully mingled the soft amenities of life. As a son, 
a brother, a husband, and a parent, his conduct was admirable. As a proficient in the 
fine arts, he showed how compatible were elevation with elegance oi' mind. Few amateur 
artists of his day surpassed him in correctness of drawing, or beauty of colouring : — he was 
a musician of no mean order ; and as a skater, dancer, swimmer, or walker, he, though his 
modestv permitted few to know it, had not many equals. Dr Cook was succeeded in 
Kilmany by the Rev. Dr Thomas Chalmers, now professor of divinity in the university 
of Edinburgh; and in this retired parish that singular genius began first to appear, 
which has since shone forth in him with so much brilliance. The present incumbent 
is the Rev. Henry D. Cook, brother of the late Dr John Cook. The patronage of 
the parish is in the united college of St Salvators and St Leonards. 

Besides the parish church, there is a chapel at the village of Rathillet, connected 
with the United Associate Synod, of which the Rev. James Borwick is minister. 
The chapel is well attended, partly by persons residing in the western part of the 
parish, and partly by others residing in the neighbouring parishes of Creich, Flisk, 
Balmerino, and Logic 

The parish school is situated at Rathillet, as being more in the centre of the parish 
than Kilmany. The teacher has the maximum salary, a school-house, a dwelling- 
house, which is rather small, and an excellent garden. The usual branches of educa- 
tion are taught. The fees are, for English reading 2s. per quarter ; for reading with 
writing 2s. 6d., with writing and arithmetic 3s. 6d., with English grammar 4s., with 
geography 5s., and for the whole with Latin 10s. There are at present about 76 
scholars, but some of these are from neighbouring parishes. Besides the parish school, 
there are two female schools, one at Kilmany, supported by Mrs Thomson of Carlton. 
The teacher receives yearly a salary of £10, with a house and garden. The scholars 
are about thirty in number, who are taught sewing and English reading. The other 
school is at Hazelton wells, at the north-western extremity of the parish. It is 
supported by Mrs Gillespie of Montquhany, who pays the teacher a salary of £10 
yearly. The pupils are here also taught sewing and English reading. The fees in 
both schools are very moderate. 

There are five paupers on the roll who receive a regular weekly allowance, and nine, 
mostly widows, who are assisted occasionally. The funds for their supply are derived from 
the collections at the church door, dues of the mortcloth used at funerals, the interest of 
L.200, and occasional assistance when necessary from the heritors. The amount distri- 
buted annually is about L.33. 

IV. The population of this parish has been for several years decreasing, owing to the 
enlargement of the farms, and the consequent want of employment for more than a limited 
number of the labouring diss. In 1755 the total population was 78- r >; in 1797 there were 
390 males, and 473 females, total 869; in 1801 the population had decreased to 787; in 
1811 to 781; in 1621 to 751; and in 1831 to 707. It is now understood to have still 



farther decreased. The following is an abstract of the returns made to government in 

Males 20 years of age, 1G9, total males 334; females 373; total persons 707. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture 69; families chiefly employed in trade, manufacture, and handicraft, 
32; all other families not comprised in these classes 48; total families 149. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers 14; occupiers not employing labourers 1; labourers employed in agri- 
culture 85. 

Persons employed in manufacture 14; persons employed in retail trade or in handicraft, as masters and work- 
men 28. 

Capitalists, professional, and other educated men, 7. 

Labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 13. 

All other males 20 years of age (except servants) 5. 

Male servants 2 ; female servants 4 7 . 

Inhabited houses 148; uninhabited 4. 

V. The cultivated land in the parish extends to about 3550 acres, of which the soil varies 
very much in different situations. At the east end of the parish the soil is light and sharp, 
and in some places sandy with moss. Near Kilmany it is a fine deep loam ; while at 
Rathillet it is sharp light land, excellently adopted for barley and pasture. On the lower 
ground at Montquhany the soil is a fine rich loam ; and on the higher ground to the north 
good sharp land resting on trap. At Hillcairnie, again, it is a deep strong red clay. There 
is no uncultivated land in the parish, but there are 150 acres under wood, chiefly Scotch fir 
and larch. The usual rotation in cropping is a five years shift: 1st, fallow or green crop; 
2d, wheat; 3d, barley sown down with grass; 4th, grass either cut or eaten down; 5th, 
oats. The following rotation however is now beginning to gain ground in the parish: 
1st, fallow or green crop ; 2d, wheat ; 3d, pease and beans, or turnips with bones or firm 
soil; 4th, barley sown down with grass; 5th, grass cut or eat off; 6th, oats. On the 
lio-htcr lands barley is usually substituted for wheat, and the land is sometimes allowed to 
remain in grass for two or three years. 

The breed of cattle chiefly cultivated is as near to the Fife breed as can now be pro- 
cured- but a cross with the Teeswater or short-homed breed has been adopted, and is sup- 
posed when carefully kept to be more profitable to the farmer, as they fatten quicker, are 
sooner ready for the butcher, and come to greater weight than the other. There will be 
altogether about 200 head of cattle reared annually, which are mostly sold fat at three 
years old. The sheep fed is of various breeds, Leicester, Cheviot, and Highland; of these 
about 1000 are fed off annually with turnip. The average gross amount of raw produce 
raised in the parish has been estimated as follows : 

Produce of grain of all kinds, whether cultivated for food of man, or the domestic animals, £13,S0O 
Of potatoes, turnips, and other vegetables, cultivated in the field for food, . . 3.S00 

Of hay, meadow, or cultivated, ....... 1 ,400 

Of land in pasture, rating it at £3 per cow, or full grown ox; and at 12s. per ewe, or full 

grown sheep, . . • • • • • • .1,200 

Of the annual thinning and periodical felling of woods, plantations, and copse, . 40 

Total yearly value of raw produce raised, . . . £20,240 


There are sixteen farms in the parish, all of them containing above 300 acres; and the 
leases are usually for nineteen years. Farm houses and offices are all good and commodi- 
ous; but in some places there is a want of enclosures, which in many instances prevents 
the farmer from allowing the land to lie in pasture, when it might be benefited by his 
doing so. The land is all drained on the Elkington system; but furrow draining with the 
sub-soil plough has begun to prevail, by which wet lands especially, must be very much 
improved. There are three corn mills in the parish, driven by the water of Motray ; and 
sixteen thrashing mills, only one of which is moved by water power. The average rental 
of arable land in the parish is about L.2 5s. per acre; and the gross amount is about 
L.850O or L.900O. In 1815 the annual value of the real property of the parish assessed 
for the property tax was L.08O5 sterling. The valued rent of the parish is L.5332 10s. 
Scots. Labourers receive in summer from 9s. to lis. weekly, and in winter from 8s. to 
9s.; artizans from 10s. to KJs. weekly. 




I. North of Kilmany, and on the south shore of the firth of Tay, lies the parish of Bal- 
merino ; anciently named Balmurenach, and more recently Balmermoch. Balmurenach is 
said in the Celtic to mean the Sailor town, and if such is the case the parish in all proba- 
bility derived its name from the hamlet on the sea shore, near where the abbey was after- 
wards built. From the lands there, the name of the parish is unquestionably derived ; but 
whether these lands took their name from a village called the town of the sailors, is a ques- 
tion of greater difficulty. The abbey has been differently designated by Scottish historians : 
Leslie calls it Balmurccum, and Fordun, Habitaculum ad mare. In length, from the west at 
Birkhill to the east at Wormet-bay, the parish is about four miles ; and at its broadest part, 
from where it is bounded by the water of Motray on the south to the Tay on the north, it 
is two miles. In other places, however, its breadth is not so great ; at Birkhill it is only 
about a mile broad, from Galdry to the sea at Kirkton it is about one and a half miles, 
while at Peasehills it is not above half a mile in breadth. On the south it is bounded by 
the parish of Kilmany, on the east by that of Forgan, on the north by the firth of Tay, and 
on the west by the parish of Flisk. Its area is said to contain about eight square miles. 

Two hilly ridges, part of the termination of the Ochills, traverse the parish from east to 
west, forming a beautiful valley between them ; which, narrow at its commencement near 
the abbey, widens out to a greater breadth in its progress eastward. Near the centre of 
the southern ridge, a considerable extent of high table-land stretches towards th? range of 
hilly ground which forms the boundary of the valley of Kilmany, and at its west -ad grad- 
ually slopes down towards the western termination of that pleasant valley; while en the east 
it is terminated by Wormet-den, a ravine which forms the boundary on the east between 
this parish and that of Forgan. The highest point of the southern ridge is Coultry Hill, 
which rises about 500 feet above the level of the sea, and is beautifully wooded to the top ; 
the northern ridge rises highest near its commencement on the west, in a point called the 
Scurr Hill, from which there is a splendid view of the opposite coast, from Dundee west- 
ward along the whole Carse of Gowry. About a mile and a half eastward from the com- 
mencement of the valley between the two ridges of hills already mentioned, an isolated 
mass of rock rises abruptly in the centre of the valley, on the summit of which stand the 
ruins of the ancient castle of Nachton. The dell formed between this mass and the northern 
ridge is finely wooded, and singularly beautiful ; the mass of rock, which has a gradual slope 
on the south, rising on this side from the bottom of the dell in a mural precipice of at least 
eighty feet in height, from which frowns the ruined walls of the ancient castle. The whole 

* The writer has to acknowledge his obligation to the Rev. Mr Thomson, minister of this parish, for his kind- 
ness in supplying much useful information ; and for affording an opportunity of perusing his MS. notes for his 
Statistical Account of the parish, from which numerous facts have been obtained. 


shore, from the one end of the parish to the other, is bold and rocky, rising in some 
places into abrupt precipices of considerable height. The parish is altogether richly wooded, 
as besides the plantations around the houses of the resident proprietors, every spot which is 
not adapted to tillage, is covered with thriving and beautiful plantations. Altogether, from 
the variety of its surface, the parish presents a succession of scenery of great beauty, and in 
many instances of the most picturesque description. 

The climate has always been considered as extremely salubrious ; the soil being dry, 
resting generally on whinstone rock, and there being neither bog nor marsh to injure it. So 
early as the reign of William the Lyon, queen Emergarde is said to have selected Balme- 
rino as a summer residence ; and we are told by Martin that Magdalene, queen of James 
V., "being a tender ladie, the physicians choosed this place [St Andrews] and the abbacie 
of Balmerinoch, as having the best aers of any places in the kingdom, for her residence and 
abode." The late Rev. Andrew Thomson, who wrote the first statistical account, says, 
" that 4 persons who had died within these ten years were upwards of DO," and that there 
were several then alive above 80 years of age.* There are at present in the parish thirty- 
five people upwards of eighty years of age; and one woman in her ninety-fifth year. From 
March 1830 to March 1837, six individuals died whose united ages amounted to 512 years ; 
and last year a woman died in her 100th year. The estuary of the Tay affords here every 
opportunity for sea-bathing ; and we know nothing but the want of suitable residences, to 
prevent Balmerino becoming a favourite place of resort during summer. It is indeed surpris- 
ing that the active and industrious merchants of Dundee appear never to have thought of 
endeavouring to obtain feus, and building villas here, where they and their families might 
wander in pleasant valleys, beneath the shade of waving and umbrageous trees, instead of 
basking under a hot sun amid the arid sands of Broughty Ferry. 

The nearest market town is Cupar, which is distant about six miles ; and the nearest 
post-office, Newport, a sub-office of Dundee, distant about four and a half miles from the 
parish church. There are no turnpike roads in the parish ; but there are ten miles 100 
yards of statute labour roads, which, though hilly where they run from north to south, are 
kept in the most excellent condition. No regular conveyance from any of the neighbour- 
ing towns passes through ; but the inhabitants have a direct weekly communication with 
Dundee, by a small packet or passage boat belonging to a joint stock company. There are 
four hamlets or small villages in the parish : Galdry, which is situated on the ridge of table- 
land already mentioned, near the northern boundary of the parish; Kirkton, situated near 
where the old church stood, and where the burying ground still is ; Balmerino, on the sea 
shore, near the ruins of the ancient abbey ; and Coultry, lying inland towards the western 
extremity. There are five public houses, but neither a butcher, a baker, nor a brewer. 

II. The principal landholders are Mrs Bethune Morrison, of Naughton, Henry Wed- 
derburn, Esq., of Birkhill, Francis Stewart, Esq.., of Balmerino, and Mrs Stark Robertson, 
of Ballendean. Besides these, there are several holders of smaller properties, and some 

* Statistical Accoui.t, vol. 9, p. '217. 


feuars. The lands of Balmerino belonged, at the beginning of the 13th century, to Henry 
de Ruel, a foreigner, who obtained a grant from William the Lyon, of the lands of Cultrath, 
Balmerinach, and Balendard.* He was succeeded by his nephew Richard, who obtained 
charter of confirmation of these lands from Alexander II. Richard, who had himself 
obtained a grant of the lands of Easter Ardit, also dying without issue, was succeeded in 
his whole possessions by his brother Adam de Rewel, or as he is sometimes called, Stawel.f 
In 1225, he sold the lands of Ardit, of Cultrath, and Balmurinach, with its church, to 
Emergarde, the queen dowager of William and the mother of Alexander II., for the sum 
of 1000 merks. A sale of lands being at this time not a very common event, Adam 
appeared at the king's court, then held at Forfar, and in presence of the king and court, 
openly surrendered the whole lands to the queen. | Here then queen Emergarde founded the 
abbey in 1229, which she planted with monks of the Cistertian order, brought from the 
abbey of Melrose. The monastery was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St Edward the 
confessor. This lady died in 1233, and is said to have been buried in the church before 
the high altar. A statue appears also to have been erected to her memory, which Sibbald 
says was in existence shortly before his timc.§ Not satisfied with this munificence, she by 
her testament, left 200 merks to Laurence de Abernethy, inconsequence of which, "et pro 
anima ejus," he gave his lands of Corbie, now Birkhill, and the lands of Balendean to the 
monastery.! King Alexander granted the foundation charter on the 3d of February 1230, 
and added to the lands bestowed by his mother, the lands and church of Lochmurc, in 
Angus, and Petgomoc and Drumdol, in Fife.'f The example of the king and his mother 
was followed by several of the neighbouring barons ; and the abbey received various grants 
of land in the course of the 13th and early part of the 14th century. Symon de Kyner 
gave to God, St Mary, and the monks of Balmerino, in pure alms for the safety of his 
soul, &c, the half of his lands of Kyner; which grant was ratified by the king on the 21st 
September, 1230. From Sir David de Berkeley of Brechin, the monks received a right 
of fishing in the river Tay ; from Hugh de Nydin, the quarry of Nydin ; Roger de Quinci 
granted them a peatry, or right of taking peats from his moss of Swanismire ; and William 
de Candela, ancestor of the family of Anstruther, gave a portion of his lands to the 
monks in pure alms. Besides these, they held numerous small burgage possessions in the 
burghs of Perth, Dundee, Crail, and Anstruther. The preceptory of Gadvan, in the 
parish of Dunbog, also belonged to them, and there a few of their order resided, and cul- 
tivated the lands attached to it. 

The rules of the Cistertians were very strict, and according to those of St Benedict. 
Their food was enjoined to be of the plainest and simplest kind, and every approach to 
luxury was prohibited. Flesh was allowed only to the sick. They were allowed to use 
the common herbs of the country, but pepper and all foreign spices were forbidden It 
was directed that their monasteries should be situated in the most retired and solitary places ; 

* Chart. Balmer. No. 2, 3. t Ibid, No. 6. J Ibid, No. 4, 5, 6. 

§ History of Fife, p. 41 1 . || Chart. Bal. No. 7. ^ Ibid. 



Snd that the monks were to live by the labour ot* their hands in cultivating the earth and 
keeping cattle. When any of them required to go abroad, they were obliged always to 
go two together, to guard and witness each other's conduct, and to prompt each other to 
good thoughts. They all slept in the same dormitory, which was a long room, not divided 
as i:i other orders into separate cells ; and each monk had a separate bed, furnished with, a 
mat, blanket, coverlet, and pillow, which was prescribed to be only a foot and a halt* 
long. The dress of the Cistertians was a. white cassock, (from which they were called 
monachi albi, or white monks) with a narrow scapulary, over which they wore a black 
<rown when they went abroad, but a white one when they went to church. The supe- 
rior ecclesiastics of this order took considerable pains to cultivate and promote learning; so 
that from the strictness of the rules, and the works which resulted from their labours, the order 
soon acquired great celebrity, and speedily came to have monasteries in every country in 
Europe, all of which had the privilege of being independent of the bishops within whose 
diocese they were situated.* 

The monks of Balmerino do not appear to have continued always to observe the strict rules 
of their order. The wealth which was bestowed upon them seems to have led gradually to 
a relaxation of their discipline, and to the introduction of a degree (if luxury which they 
professed to despise, until at length, if we are to believe Buchanan, they shared in all the 
corruptions and abuses of his time. In 1533 a special commission was appointed to visit 
and reform the monasteries of the order throughout Scotland. The faults which particu- 
larly called forth this measure was the infringement of the rule which forbade any of the 
monks to possess private property, but to have all things in common. It was found 
that many of the monks, especially in the abbeys of Melrose, Newbottle, and Balmerino, 
had not only portions of land and pensions allowed them for their food and clothing, but 
that each monk had also a garden appropriated to his own particular use and pleasure. 
These improper indulgencies they were enjoined to relinquish, but with this order they 
were unwilling to comply. A convocation was therefore held at Edinburgh, at which 
it was agreed that they might retain their private gardens, provided no monk had a larger 
one than another, and that a common way was made through all the gardens by opening 
a passage from one to another; the productions of the whole being a common stock, and 
applied to the use of the convent. f 

The progress of the reformation, however, was now to startle the monks of Balmerino 
in their pleasant abode, and to put a stop to their comforts here, as well as elsewhere in 
Scotland; and the abbey which had sheltered this portion of their order for more than 
300 years, was demolished by the rabble who followed the lords of the congregation on 
their way from St Andrews in 1558. The last abbot was Sir John Hay, in all probability 
of the family of Xaughton, who was master of requests in the reign of queen Mary. It 
afterwards appears to have for a time been put in conimendam, as in the catalogue of the 
senators of the college of justice of date, Nov. 21, 1575, we rind Henry, commendator of 

' Monastic Annals of Teviotdale, by the Rev. J. Morton, D. D. t Ibid. 


Balmcrino. After the complete establishment of the reformation, the lands belonging to 
the abbey were erected into a temporal lordship, in favour of Sir James Elphinston, designed 
of Inncrnochtie, third son of Robert, third lord Elphinston. In this family they continued 
till the year 174(5, when, on the forfeiture of John, sixth lord Balmerino, they reverted 
to the crown, and were subsequently sold to the York building company. From this 
company they were purchased by the late earl of Moray, and are now the property of 
Mr Stuart, cousin of the present earl. 

The lords Balmerino seem all to have been men of talent, but all were unfortunate. 
James, the first lord, was appointed a lord of session in 1586; and in 1595 was constituted 
one of the commissioners of the treasury called Octavians. In 1598 he was appointed 
secretary of state, and subsequently, as already stated, was created lord Balmerino. In 
1605 he was constituted president of the Court of Session, and in that important office, 
he with great spirit attempted to stern the secret and corrupt influence of the earl of Dunbar 
on the bench. So high in favour did lie now stand, and such was the opinion of James VI. of 
his talent, that he contemplated appointing lord Balmerino secretary of state for Eng- 
land. The affair of the letter to the pope which lord Balmcrino had written in name of 
the king, and to which he contrived to obtain his majesty's signature, without his being 
aware of its contents, now coming to light, not only put a stop to his further promotion, 
but had nearly produced his death. He was tried at St Andrews for treason, found 
guilty, and condemned to be executed, in 1609. The sentence was not however carried 
into execution, and in October of that year he obtained liberty of free ward in Falkland, 
and one mile round it, on his finding security in L.40,000 not to transgress these limits. 
He afterwards obtained liberty to retire to Balmerino, where he died 1 6 1 "2 . 

John, the eldest son of the late lord, was restored in blood and to the peerage in 
1613. He opposed the measures of government, particularly in 1633 when the 
question respecting the king's prerogative ol imposing apparel on churchmen came to 
be discussed. On this occasion it was alleged that the opposition had had the ma- 
jority, but that the Clerk register had falsely declared that it had been carried in the 
affirmative. The opposition, both peers and commoners, were justly alarmed at this 
occurrence and had a petition drawn up to the king praying that the grievance might be 
redressed, but the king having heard of it declared he would not receive it, and it was 
not thought advisable to present it. Lord Balmerino had retained a copy of this paper 
which he had altered and interlined with his own hand for the purpose of making it 
more palatable for the royal ear ; and he imprudently entrusted it to his private agent, 
though under strict injunctions neither to copy it nor show it to any one. The agent 
however transcribed it, and gave one copy to Mr Peter Hay then laird of Naughton, 
who also promised not to show it, but in breach of his promise immediately carried it 
to the Archbishop of St Andrews. The Archbishop supposing that the petition was 
being handed about for subscription immediately set off for London, and presented it 
to the king; and Lord Balmerino was in consequence cited to appear before the privy 


council at Edinburgh on the 11th June 1631. He informed Mr Haig who had orig- 
inally drawn up the petition of what had occurred, who immediately fled to the conti- 
nent, and wrote his lordship acknowledging himself to be the author of the paper. After 
his examination, Lord Balmerino was committed to Edinburgh castle, where he was 
closely confined till his trial. On the 3d of December, 1634, he was accused of being 
" art and part of the penning and setting down of a scandalous libel, and divulging and 
dispersing it amongst his majesty's lieges; at the least of concealing and not revealing 
of Mr William Haig, and not apprehending of him, the said principal author of the 
said libel." The petition itself was described as a dangerous libel, that depraved 
the laws and misconstrued the proceedings of the king and the late parliament; "so 
seditious that its thoughts infected the air; a cockatrice, which a good subject should 
have crushed in the egg." Balmerino was ably defended by four counsel, but the libel 
was found relevant on the 20th of December. The trial did not take place till March 
1635,when he was brought before a jury, who had been carefully selected for their enmity 
to the accused and their devotion to the court. He was found guilty "of hearing of the said 
infamous libel and concealing and not revealing the author thereof;" and for this crime, 
sentence of death was immediately pronounced. The execution however was sus- 
pended till the pleasure of his majesty should be known. Numerous meetings were 
now held by the friends of Lord Balmerino, and it was resolved either to set him at 
liberty by force, or to revenge his death on the judges and the eight jurors who had 
formed the majority which found him guilty, some undertaking to kill them, and others 
to burn their houses. The earl of Traquair a minister of state, but who had notwith- 
standing formed one of the jury, being made aware of his danger hastened to court and 
procured a pardon, which was reluctantly granted, and he was set at liberty in 
November following. After this his lordship entered warmly into the views of the 
covenanters, and assisted them not only with his advice and personal exertions, but 
also with large sums of money to the ruin of his paternal inheritance. On the 18th 
August 1641, he was nominated president of parliament, on the 17th of September a 
privy councillor, and on the 13th November an extraordinary lord of Session ad vitam 
aut culpam by the king with consent of the estates. He continued leader of the church 
party till his death on the 2Sth February 1649. * 

John, fourth Lord Balmerino, "was a man of excellent parts improved by great read- 
ing; being perhaps one of the best lawyers in the kingdom, and very expert in the 
knowledge of the Scottish constitution. He reasoned much and pertinently in parlia- 
ment; and testifying, on all occasions, an unshaken loyalty to his prince, and zealous 

* The Dcnmiln MS. contains the following verses to his memory. 
Heir laves Balmerinoch, and may his fate O! episicie .--trange. Phosphor our light 

Bring teares without a presage to the staite, Led one, and turns the hesper of our night. 

Quher he the day-star was, his course is rune 
And now he sets, alas! after our sune, 


affection to his country, he gained the esteem and love of all good men."* His father, 
the third lord, having been obliged to dispose of a great portion of the family estates, 
in consequence of the debts contracted by John the second lord, he found his patri- 
mony very limited; but this did not affect his exertions for the public good. During 
his father's lifetime lie was admitted a privy councillor; and after succeeding his father 
in 1704, he strenuously opposed in parliament, the proposed union of the kingdom 
with England, considering it derogatory to the honour and independence of Scotland. 
He was elected one of the sixteen representatives of the Scottish peerage in the British 
parliament, at the general election in 1710, and was re-chosen in 1713. In 1710 he 
was appointed general of the mint; and the same year sheriff of the county of Edin- 
burgh. In 1711 he was named one of the commissioners for executing the office of 
Lord chamberlain ; and was one of the lords of police. Misfortune followed him 
however as it had done his predecessors in the honours of Balmerino, for on the 
accession of George I, he was deprived of all his offices, and was no longer even re- 
turned a representative of the peerage. The treatment he received however had not 
the effect of driving him as it did too many others into desperate courses; his good 
sense pointed out to him the folly of rash conduct, and accordingly he remained faith- 
ful to his king during the rebellion of 1715. He continued afterwards to live in re- 
tirement till his death in 1736. 

John the fifth lord, seeing the delapidated state of the family fortunes applied him- 
self to the study of the law, and w r as called to the bar in 1703, at which he practised 
for some years with great reputation. In 1714, a few weeks before the death of queen 
Anne, he was raised to the bench, and took his seat as Lord Coupar. He succeeded 
his father in 1736; but remained a judge till his death in 1746, equally distinguished 
for his sound knowledge of law, and his singular impartiality in that office, as for his 
amiable manners in private life. 

He was succeeded by his brother Arthur, the sixth lord, who entered the army, and 
had the command of a company in lord Channing's regiment during the reign of queen 
Anne. On the accession of George I., he resigned his commission, joined the earl 
of Mar, and was engaged at the battle of Sheriff- muir; after which he made his escape 
from Scotland, and entered into the French service in which he continued till 1733, 
when his father, anxious for his return to Scotland, applied for and obtained a free 
pardon from the crown. Faithful to the side he had adopted, he did not accept the 
pardon till he had obtained the consent of the chevalier, who supplied him with money 
to pay the expense of his return to Scotland, which he did in 1735, after an exile of 
twenty years. On the arrival of Charles Stuart in Scotland, in 1744, Arthur Elphin- 
stone was one of the first who joined his standard, and was appointed colonel and 
captain of the second troop of horse life guards attending his person. He was at 

* Lockbart's Memoir, p. 181. 


Carlisle, when it surrendered to the rebels, marched with them to Derby, and accom- 
panied them back to Scotland. He was present, but not engaged in the battle of 
Falkirk, having the command of a reserve of horse. A few weeks previous to the 
battle of Culloden he succeeded to the title of Balmerino, on the death of his brother; 
and in that battle he was taken prisoner by the duke of Cumberland's army. He was 
afterwards carried to London, and committed to the tower ; and on the 29th of July, 
1746, was brought to trial along with the earls of Kilmarnock and Cromarty. On the 
1st of August, sentence of death was passed on the three noblemen; and the earl of 
Kilmarnock and lord Balmerino suffered decapitation on Tower hill, on the 18th of 
August, 1746. The earl of Cromarty had in the meantime received a pardon. The 
behaviour of lord Balmerino was marked with the greatest firmness and intrepidity. 
Lord Kilmarnock suffered first, and Balmerino remained in the meantime in an apart- 
ment near the scaffold, where his deportment is said to have been graceful without 
affectation, cheerful, but not presumptuous. He conversed freely with his friends, 
twice refreshed himself with a bit of bread and a glass of wine, and desired the 
company to drink to him "ain degrae ta haiven." He prayed frequently and 
appeared ready and willing to die. When he left the apartment for the scaffold, he 
saluted the company in such a manner as drew tears from every eye, and he mounted 
the scaffold with such an undaunted step as surprised every one. He then walked 
round it, bowed to the spectators, read the inscription on his coffin, said it was right, 
and, looking at the block, called it his pillow of rest. When the executioner asked 
his forgiveness, he stopped him, saying, "Friend, you need not ask me forgiveness; 
the execution of your duty is commendable." Then presenting him with three guineas, 
he said, "Friend, I never had much money, this is all I have, I wish it was more for 
your sake, I am sorry I can add nothing else but my coat and waistcoat," which he 
instantly took off, and laid upon his coffin. He then said, " I am afraid there are 
some who may think my behaviour bold ; but remember, Sir," turning to a gentleman 
near him, " it arises from a confidence in God, and a clear conscience." He then 
examined the edge of the axe, pointed out to the executioner where to strike the blow, 
animated him to do it with resolution, as in that consisted his mercy, submitted his 
head to the block, and after a short prayer gave the fatal signal. Thus perished the 
last male heir of this branch of the family of Elphinstone, which had experienced so 
many vicissitudes after their elevation to the peerage ; three out of six lords having 
been condemned to death, and their patrimony, which had been good, being nearly 
totally ruined. 

Besides the lords we have mentioned as having been judges of the Court of Session 
another of the family also enjoyed this dignity, and was created a peer of Scotland. 
James the second son of the first lord Balmerino, had the lands and baronies which be- 
longed to the suppressed abbey of Coupar in Angus, erected into a temporal lordship 
in his favour, and was created a lord of parliament by the title of Lord Coupar, on the 

VOL. II. k 



20th of December, 1607. He took little share in public business, till the talents of his 
elder brother, Lord Balmerino, forced him into notice; and on his death he was ap- 
pointed to his place as an extraordinary lord of Session, in June, 1649. Of this 
appointment Sir James Balfour says, " The lord Balmerinoch's extraordinary place of 
the Sessione, they have bestowed it one his brother, the lord Couper, quhouse head 
will not fill his brother's hate." ;; His lordship was appointed colonel of one of the 
regiments of foot, for the county of Perth, raised to resist Cromwell in 1650, and was 
fined £3000 by the Protector in 1654. He died in 1669, without issue, in consequence 
of which the title became extinct, and his nephew, the third lord Balmerino, succeeded 
to his estates, which proved, however, insufficient to relieve him from his embarrass- 

The ruins of the buildings of the abbey which now remain, are comparatively 
trifling, and afford but small evidence of what their grandeur must once have been. 
The church has entirely disappeared, and its place is now only marked by the founda- 
tions of some of the pillars which supported its roof. The portions of the other build- 
ings remaining are an arcade of pointed arches, supported by short strong pillars with 
ornamented capitals, two vaulted apartments which appear to have been chapels 
dedicated in all probability to some particular saint ; and a strong stone room, which 
originally had no entrance but a square opening in the arched roof. The arcade in 
all probability formed a portion of the fratery or refectory where the monks dined ; and 
appears to have originally had communication with the chapels, which contained the 
altars or shrines of the saints to which they were dedicated. One of these, situated 
between the refectory and the site of the church, is entirely surrounded with stone 
benches; and near the door, were two stone basins for holding holy water, above 
which there formerly stood in a niche a statue of the virgin with the holy child in her 
arms. This statue which had fallen down was dug from the ruins many years ago, and 
according to the account of the late minister of the parish was given to an artist of the 
name of Martin. The vaulted apartment which was entered by an opening from the 

* Balfour MS. A. 7 Adv. Lib. The following epigram preserved in the MSS. is to the same effect, regarding 
the capabilities of Lord Coupar, 

Fy upon death, 

Hes worse than a trouper. 

That took from us Balmerinoch, 

And left that howlit Cowper. 
A curious decision of the court of Session, rather corroborative of Sir James Balfour's opinion of his lordship 
has been preserved by lord Stair. Lord Coupar, sitting in Parliament, taking out his watch handed it to Lord 
Pitsligo, who refusing to restore it, an action was brought for the value. Lord Pitsligo said, that Lord Coupar 
having put his watch in his hand to see what hour it was, Lord Sinclair putting forth his hand for a sight of the 
watch, Lord Pitsligo put it into Lord Sinclair's hand in the presence of Lord Coupar without contradiction, which 
must necessarily import his consent. Lord Coupar answered that their being then sitting in Parliament, his 
silence could not import a consent. The lords repelled Lord Pitsligo's defence, and found him liable in the value 
of the watch. 


top, appears to have been a dungeon or place of confinement for criminals or refractory 
monks, and a dreadful place of punishment it must have been. Its rude strong walls 
which are of great thickness, are built of large blocks of whinstone; and as it was without 
door or window, its wretched inmates must have been destitute of any light except when 
the stone which covered the opening at the top was removed. The ruins appear in many 
places to have undergone alterations, during the time the lords Balmerino held the 
lands, and part of them at least to have been connected with the house which formed 
their residence, no part of which however except a piece of one of the walls now re- 
mains. The view of the ruins given in the engraving is taken from the east, and 
shows the windows and part of the pillars and arches of what we suppose has been the 

It has often been remarked that the monks selected for their places of residence the 
finest situations in the country, and certainly this observation holds true with regard to 
the abbey of Balmerino. The ruins stand at the opening of a fine valley upon the 
margin of the estuary of the Tay. The Scurr hill afforded them shelter from the cold 
north-east winds, and a small stream which ran through a narrow dell between the 
hill and the abbey added beauty to the scene. The surrounding grounds were highly 
cultivated, and from the names which the fields yet retain, had been laid out as gardens 
and orchards. Some few old chestnut trees still remain, but time which has effected so 
much change upon the ruins has thinned the number of these trees, and the fruit trees are 
now in a great measure removed. The place is still extremely beautiful, and the ruins 
picturesque and interesting; but when the pinnacles and towers of the church, and other 
buildings of the monastery were entire, and were seen amid the numerous trees which 
then surrounded them, it must have been a scene of surpassing beauty. The view, too, 
which this spot commands of the Tay, and its opposite coast, the rich tract of the Carse 
of Gowrie, the Sidlaw hills which form its northern boundary, with the lofty Gram- 
pians rising in the distance, forms a picture of great extent and pleasing variety. 

To the east of the abbey, and where the valley already mentioned has begun to 
expand, stands Naughton, the residence of Mrs Bethune Morrison. The house which 
is good, though not extensive, is delightfully situated amid well wooded grounds on the 
southern slope of the rising ground on which are still to be seen the ruins of the 
ancient castle of Naughton. This castle is said by Sibbald to have been built by Rober- 
tus de Lundon, a natural son of William the Lyon.* During the reign of Alexander 
the third, it was acquired by John de Haya, third son of William de Haya, ancestor of 
the earls of Enrol. In a charter to the abbey of Cupar t granted by him with consent of 
his son Peter de Haya, of a yair on the river Tay, for the welfare of the soul of his 
deceased wife, Juliana de Lascelles, he is designed Joannes de Haya de Ardnaughtan. 
His descendent, Sir William Hay of Naughtan was very famous in the commencement 

* History of Fife, p. 413. t Chartul. of Cupar, 1G. 


of the fifteenth century. He fought in Flanders, under Alexander, earl of Mar in 1408, 

and is thus mentioned by Winton — 

" Lord of tLe Nachtane, Scliire William, 
Ane hanest knycht and of gud fame, 
A travalit knycht lang before than." 

Previous to an engagement, Winton afterwards describes him as creating a knight, in 
all probability a relation of his own. 

" The lord of Nachtane, Schire William, 
The Hay, a knycht than of glide fame, 
Mad Schire Gilbert the Hay, knycht."* 

He is also placed by Gawain Douglas, bishop of Dunkeld, among the popular heroes 
of romance in his allegorical Palice of Honour ; from which it would appear, that some 
of his feats of arms had been the subject of an ancient ballad then well known but now 
entirely lost.t 

In the reign of king James III., Eustachius de Chrichton obtained the lands and 
castle of Naughton bv marriage with Matilda daughter and heiress of Sir John de la 
Hay. During the reign of king James the VI., Naughton was purchased from the 
descendents of Eustachius de Chrichton by Mr Peter Hay, a son of Hay of Megginch, 
in Angus. He was the author of a work called " The First Blast of the Trumpet," 
printed in 1627, which had considerable influence on the events of that period, and 
excited the especial displeasure of archbishop Spottiswoode. In the records of the 
synod of St Andrews, the following allusion to this is made : — " The synod halden at 
St Andrews, 2d Oct. 1627. My lord archbishop desyred that the purpose concerning 
Mr Peter Hay ofNauchtoun his buik, suld not be mentioned in the publick synod, and 
declaired that his lordship wuld not be present if the sam war spoken of."| Hay of 
Naughton was, in 1649, as appears from Lamont's diary, p. 10. one of the represen- 
tatives of the shire in the Scottish parliament; and, in 1654, was fined in 1000 merks 
by Oliver Cromwell. He was kept prisoner in Edinburgh castle with many others 
who opposed the protector; but made his escape with lord Kinnoul and three others, 
having descended the rock by the aid of the sheets and blankets of their beds, which 
they made into ropes. Lamont, p. 70. In the year 1737 the estate was brought 

* Chronykil, B. IX. c. 27. 
t I saw Raf Coilyear with his thrawin brow, 
Crabit John the Reif, and auld Cowkilbeis sow; 
And how the wran cam out of Ailesay, 
And Piers Plowman, that meid his workmen few: 
Gret Gowmacmorne, and Fin mac Cowl, and how 
They suld be goddis in Ireland, as they say. 
Then saw I Maitland upon auld beird gray, 
Robin Hude, and Gilbert with the quhite hand, 
How Hay of Nauchton flew in Madia land. 

X Records of the Synod of Fife, printed for the Abbotsford Club. 


to a judicial sale by the creditors of Robert Hay of Naughton, and was purchased by 
William Morrison, Esq., the great-grandfather of the present proprietor. 
' According to Sibbald,* Naughton appears to have anciently had a variety of names. 
He says, that in the MS. register of the priory of St Andrews, he finds it styled Dol- 
dancha, and afterwards Chondro-hedalion,IIyrhat-nachten,Machchirb, and Hadhnacten- 
We have farther seen, that in the reign of Alexander III. it was called Ardnachten, 
which in the Celtic means the height of Nachtan. Here Sibbald also supposes there 
had been a church belonging to the Culdees, subordinate to their establishment at 
St Andrews; but as the churches at that early period were built of wood, it is utterly 
impossible to form any conception of the place where this building stood. Some have 
supposed that Naughton was the site of the battle of Dunnechtan fought in 6S5, when 
the Pictish king Bridei, the son of Bili, defeated and slew Egfrid the Saxon king of 
Northumbria. He, against the advice of his nobles, had with his army crossed the 
Forth from the Lothians, and without provocation had ravaged the Pictish kingdom to 
the Tay. Chalmers t supposes that the place where he was met by the Pictish army 
and defeated and slain, was Dunnichen,f in Angus, where there is on a hill the remains 
of an old British fort; but the height of Nachtan in Fife, was, in all probability, sur- 
mounted by an ancient fort previous to the erection of the tower by Robertus de Lundon. 
The present Naughton may therefore have been the scene of this successful struggle for 
the independence of the Pictish kingdom ; and this is the more probable as it was likely 
the Picts would be anxious to prevent the Saxons from crossing the Tay, or advancing 
farther into their kingdom. But however this may be, many circumstances concur in 
pointing out this neighbourhood as the scene of some early conflict ; and accordingly 
tradition affirms that, about the close of the 10th century, on a field called the battle law, 
the Scots and Picts, then united under Kenneth III., attacked the remaining portion of 
the Danish army which had fled from the fatal field of Luncarty, and forced them with the 
greatest precipitation to fly to their ships, then lying at the mouth of the Tay. Near this 
field stone coffins containing human bones, and broken swords have been found; and at 
the farm of Peasehill, about a mile north-east of the battle law, in the line of retreat which 
the Danes would certainly pursue, two ornaments of pure gold, valued at about £14 
sterling, were found some years ago. One of these was a ball which appeared to have 
formed the knob on the hilt of a sword, and the other, which is in the possession of 
Mrs Morrison of Naughton, is a hollow cylinder of gold, of a curved form, tapering 
towards each end, and having three rows of raised reticulated work from one end to 
the other on the outer side of the curve. The probability seems to be, that it formed 
an ornament on the helmet of some chief who had fallen in the retreat. 

At the western extremity of the parish, and on the rising ground immediately above 

* Hist, of Fife, p. 36. t Caledonia, vol. i. p. 210. 

; Anciently called Dunnechtan, tlie Fort of Neclitan. 



the rocks which there bound the Tay, is Birkhill, the seat of Henry Wedderburn, Esq., 
of Wedderburn and Birkhill, hereditary royal standard-bearer for Scotland. The 
grounds are magnificently wooded, and the walks which have been made along the edge 
of the rocks along the shore present numerous varied and delightful views of the opposite 
coast, particularly of the upper portion of the Carse of Gowrie. The house appears to 
have been erected during the last century, is commodious, and affords a good specimen 
of the architecture of the period. The lands were anciently called Corbie, and appear 
to have been possessed during the reign of Malcolm IV. by Orme, the son of Hugh, 
who possessed other lands in Fife, and also obtained a grant from William the Lyon of 
the lands of Abernethy, from which his descendents subsequently assumed that sur- 
name. He was succeeded by his son Lawrence, who, as already mentioned, conveyed 
these lands and others to the monks of Balmerino, in consideration of the legacy left 
him by queen Emergarde. On the 16th of March, 1540-1, Andrew, fourth earl of 
Rothes, obtained a charter of the lands of Corby and Corbyhills,* which had probably 
been resigned by the monks to him, with a view to obtaining his protection against the 
encroachments of the reformers. This charter, with others which he had obtained, 
were ratified to him by parliament in April, 1567. According to Sibbald, Birkhill 
belonged in James VI. 's time to a younger son of the earl ; and afterwards came by 
marriage to a gentleman of the name of Carnegie, a cadet of the earls of Southesk.t 
It afterwards was the property of David Scrimgeour, who was admitted a member of 
the faculty of advocates in 1731, and was appointed sheriff- depute of Inverness on the 
abolition of heritable jurisdictions. He was the grandson of John Scrimgeour of 
Kirkton, who was nearest and lawful heir of entail to John, earl of Dundee, and as such 
should have succeeded to the barony of Dudhope, and the office of constable of Dun- 
dee, though not to the earldom, in virtue of deeds of entail executed by, and royal 
charters granted in accordance to, Sir James Scrimgeour of Dudhope, 1565 and 1587 ; 
but on the death of John, earl of Dundee, in 1668, the duke of Lauderdale obtained 
from the crown a gift of ultimus haeres and of recognition of the estates in favour of his 
brother, Charles Maitland of Hatton, notwithstanding the terms of the entail and 
charters alluded to. Alexander Scrimgeour of Birkhill, the eldest son of David above- 
mentioned, succeeded his father in 1772; and in 1778, on succeeding to the estate of 
Wedderburn in Forfarshire, he assumed the name and arms of Wedderburn of Wed- 
derburn. At his death he was succeeded by his brother the present proprietor. 

III. The abbey church served as the parish church until the year 1595,t when a 

* Douglas Peerage, vol. ii. p. 429. 
f Part of these lands, however, had still remained in the possession of a cadet of the family of Rothes, as we 
find from the following passage in Lamont's diary, p. 15. "1(1.50, Apr. 25. Young Newtoune in Fyfe sur- 
named Lesly, married old Nawchton's eldest daughter; the manage feast stood at Nawghtin in Fife. (His father 
was killed att Dundie hy the English, Sept. 1, 1651,) 1652, He sold Corbcewood to some men in Stratherne for 
5500 ma.; he was to receive the money att three or four several times." 

X Statistical Account, vol. ix. p. 224. 


new building was erected on a little eminence near the foot of the Scurf hill.' Here it 
stood, surrounded by the burying-ground, till the year 1811. The present church was 
erected that year, in a situation considerably to the east, and not far from the house of 
Naughton. It is a neat building with a belfry at its west end, and is surrounded with a 
thriving plantation of fir; but it is too small for the increasing demands of the popu- 
lation. It is intended, however, we believe, to enlarge it, by the erection of an aisle on 
the north side of the present building. The manse is also said to have been in or near 
the abbey till after the year 1618, when a house, built by T. and J. Crichton, on their 
lands of Bottom Craig was given in lieu of it. The date of the erection of this build- 
ing, 1618, and the initials of the owners, T. and J. Crichton, were to be seen on stones 
which formed the apex of the storm windows in its roof.t The present manse, which 
was built in 1816, is pleasantly situated, in the immediate neighbourhood of the church, 
is very commodious, and has an excellent set of offices. The stipend is 7 bolls 3 pecks 
wheat; 38 bolls 1 firlot 2 pecks 3 lippies meal; 10 bolls 1 firlot 2 pecks 3 lippies barley; 
63 bolls 1 firlot bear; 45 bolls 2 firlots 1 peck 2 lippies oats; and £191, 4s. 2d. sterling 
in money. The glebe contains about eight acres, and the grass glebe is about the same 
extent: both are of inferior quality. The present incumbent is the Rev. John Thom- 
son, son of the late minister of the parish. The patronage of the church is in the 

* The wood work of the abbey seems to have been used in the erection of this church, and some of the carved work 
was used to ornament the fronts of the pews. A carved oak pannel is in the museum of the Fifeshire Antiquarian 
Society which was taken from the parish church when it was taken down, and which bad originally formed a pannel 
in front of one of the stalls or the pulpit in the abbey church. The carving;, which is very rude, and in all pro- 
bability as old as the erection of the Monastery, represents at the top of the pannel a man on horseback, and below 
this a person in a fantastic dress doing; penance, and undergoing; flagellation from the hands of another, who 
has a rod or whip raised for the purpose. Underneath these two figures is another individual looking up to the 
person doing penance and holding a dish or cup towards him. 

t There is a tradition in the parish, that this house was erected by two brothers of the name of Crichton, who 
were proprietors of the lands of Bottom Craig, and that the one of thorn died before it was completely finished, 
while the other inhabited it but a short time. Thomas Crichton, it is said, had a feud with the laird of Kirkton, 
whose name has not been preserved. One day as he was proceeding to Cupar, the laird of Kirkton happened to 
be returning in the opposite direction towards Balmerino. They met, it is said, somewhere about Myrecairney, 
and, although at a considerable distance, recognised one another, instantly drew their swords, and spurring on 
their horses, commenced a mortal combat, in which the laird of Bottom Craig was slain. This old tradition of 
the] Balmerino has within these few days been rather curiously illustrated by the discovery of an old 

tomb-stone in the parish church of Cupar. Whilst making some recent repairs and alterations on the church, 
part of the floor, which was of stone, was lifted, and a large stone when raised was found to be carved on the side 
which had been turned down. On being cleaned and examined, it was found to be the tomb-stone of the laird of 
Bottom ( : inscription round the stone is — " Heir lyes bvried ane honorable man, Thomas Chrichtone of 

Bodamcraig, sone to vmvhail Jhames Chrichtone of Chranstone riddell, who decessed the 3d day of February, the 
year of God 1619, being aged 44 years." The tomb-stone mentions nothing of his having been killed ; but its 
date, and the fact of his being buried in Cupar, and not in Balmerino, seems to confirm the tradition. The stone 
has also his arms emblazoned in the centre, and that of four families on the father and four on the mother's side, 
around the stone, showing his claim, in the language of the heralds, to have been a gentleman by four descents. 


crown. The church is well attended, and the number on the communion roll is 458. 
There is no dissenting chapel in the parish, but there are about eighty dissenters, who 
mostly attend worship at the chapel connected with the associate synod at Rathillet. 

The parish school is at the village of Galdry. The attendance of pupils is usually 
considerably above 100. The usual branches of education are here taught, and the fees 
are moderate and reasonable. The teacher has the maximum salary, with school-house, 
dwelling-house, and garden. There is also a female school in the parish, at which 
about forty children are taught sewing and English reading. The teacher has a salary 
of £10 per annum and fees. There is therefore ample opportunity for the education 
of the young. The schools are well conducted, and the inhabitants are desirous to take 
advantage of them for their children. 

The poor are not numerous, there being only four on the regular roll, and from eight 
to nine who receive occasional assistance. Those on the regular roll receive from 
three shillings to six shillings monthly ; and those who receive occasional assistance, 
are supplied at the new year and sacramental occasions, with money, meal, or coals, 
according to circumstances. The collections at the church door, and the liberality of 
the heritors and inhabitants, are the only sources from which the poor are supplied. 
The average yearlycollection, exclusive of extra collections for particular purposes, is 
about £18 sterling. The proprietor of Balmerino, who is non-resident, has for several 
years back given £10 annually to be distributed among the poor upon his own estate; 
and the resident proprietors of Xaughton and Birkhill give yearly, during winter, 
donations of coals and meal to necessitous persons. Besides this, the heritors assess 
themselves yearly in the sum of £20 sterling, for the maintenance of two idiots be- 
longing to the parish in the asylum at Dundee. 

IV. The population of this parish has long been steadily on the increase. In 1755, 
the inhabitants were 565 ; in 1791, 703 ; in 1801, 786 ; in 1811, 921 ; in 1821, 965 ; 
and in 1831, 1055. The yearly average of births for the last seven years is 27, of 
marriages 6. The following is the analysis of the returns to government in 1831 : — ■ 

Males 20 years of age, 243, total males, 4S3, females, 572, total, 10.35. 

Families chicflv employed in agriculture, 43 ; families chiefly employed in trade, manufactures, and handicraft, 

101; all other families not included in these, 74; total families, 218. 
Occupiers of land employing labourers, 10; ditto, not employing labourers, 8. 
Labourers employed in agriculture, 54; ditto, employed in labour not agricultural, 35; total, 89. 
Persons employed in manufacture, 64; ditto, emploved in retail trade or in handicraft as masters or workmen, 48. 
Capitalists, professional, and other educated men, 9. 
Male servants 20 years of age, 9; ditto, under 20 years, 2; female servants, 33. 

Of the inhabitants, about 550 inhabit the villages already mentioned. There is one 
medical practitioner in the parish, five grocers, three Wrights, four shoemakers, three 
blacksmiths, three tailors, and five public houses. 

V. The soil in general is thin and sharp, lying either upon a gravelly or tilly bottom, 
or upon whinstone rock. It is highly cultivated and very productive. Draining on 


the Elkington plan, which seems most suitable to the nature of the soil and subsoil, has 
been universally practised. The method of cropping varies of course according to the 
nature of the soil. On strong soils the rotation is six years: 1st fallow or potatoes ; 2d 
wheat ; 3d green crop (turnips or pease); 4th barley sown with grass ; 5th grass cut or eat 
off; Gth oats. On the lighter soils the rotation usually is, 1st turnip eaten off with sheep, or 
other green crop; 2d barley, 3d grass; which is allowed to lie two or three years; and 4th 
oats. The parish contains altogether about 3346 imperial acres; of which there are 
in cultivation, 2694 ; in wood, 467; and unarable and in roads, &c, 185. The value 
of raw produce raised in the parish is estimated to be — grain of different kinds £8500, 
potatoes £1200, cattle £1440, total £11,140 sterling. About 105 head of cattle are 
yearly fattened for the butcher, and as many calves raised. The cattle are sold off fat, 
rising three years old, and bring from £10 to £15. The turnips and hay raised are, 
except in rare instances, consumed by the stock kept on the farms. The land is 
usually held in leases for 19 years; and the average rent is about £1 16s. per imperial 
acre. The entire rental is about £4800 sterling, and the valued rent is £4085 10s. 
Scots. In 1815, the rental on which the parish was assessed for the property tax was 
£1331 sterling. There is one corn mill driven by water in the parish; and fourteen 
thrashing mills, of which three are driven by water. There are 48 ploughs, and 98 
horses kept for agricultural purposes. A ploughman's wages average from £10 to 
£12 per annum, and the usual allowance of meal and milk ; female house servants have 
from £5 to £6 per annum. Labourers Is. 6d., and female field labourers 8d. per day. 
Masons and wrights from 16s. to 18s. per week. 

VI. During the time that stake nets for the capture of salmon existed on the shores 
of this parish, there was every prospect of its giving rise to a valuable and increasing 
branch of industry. Many of the inhabitants were employed about it, and a valuable 
income was derived to the proprietors of the fisheries. This mode of fishing, how- 
ever, was declared to be illegal by a decision of the court of session, affirmed in 1812 
by the house of lords, to the regret of the inhabitants of all those districts where that 
mode of fishing could be pursued, and the great loss of the public generally. It is 
not our purpose to enter at length into the question of the right of the proprietors of 
the upper fishings to prevent stake nets on the shores of the estuaries ; but it seems 
clear, from all that the most skilful naturalists and most experienced fishers have 
ascertained of the habits of the salmon, that stake nets ought to receive the sanction of 
the legislature. Were this mode of fishing allowed, it is impossible to conceive the 
advantage which would accrue to the public, by the almost unlimited supply of sound 
and healthy fish which it would afford. In the Tay alone, it has been calculated 
that from 20,000 to 30,000 head of salmon are annually lost to the public, and left to 
be devoured by the shoals of grampuses and seals which pursue them along the shores of 
the estuary which they annually visit. In the parish of Balmerino alone, the loss of 
rent to the proprietors may be stated at from £1000 to £1200 sterling per annum; 



and the loss of wages to the people employed at £1000. In opposition to this great 
national and local loss, no advantage whatever has accrued to the proprietors of the 
upper fishings, farther than giving them a monopoly price for the fish caught. It has 
been proved as clearly as such a subject is capable of being proved, that the fish caught 
by the stake nets were not those which were about to ascend the river, as these in- 
variably keep the middle of the stream ; but that those which seek the shores of the 
estuaries, return again to the depths of the ocean, when not destroyed by their power- 
ful and voracious enemies. It is earnestly to be hoped that the legislature will ulti- 
mately, from the light which parliamentary investigation has thrown upon the subject, 
be induced to sanction this great branch of natural industry, and allow the stake net to 
take for human food those immense stores of salmon, which are at present allowed to 
be destroyed by the monsters of the deep. 

The salmon fisheries in this parish belong to the three principal proprietors, Mrs B. 
Morrison, Mr Wedderburn, and Mr Stewart. They are rented for about £50 per 
annum. The mode of fishing is now confined, not only in this parish, but on the other 
shores of the Tay, to what is called the toot-net. The net employed is from 50 to SO 
yards in length, and differs little from the common seine or sweep net ; but instead 
of being constantly kept in motion as the latter is, its extreme end is attached to a 
boat at anchor, in which the toot-man is seated to watch the net. When he observes 
a fish strike the net, he gives the signal, and it is then, and only then drawn in. It is 
obvious that this is a very inefficient way of fishing in an estuary, and this is proved by 
the result, as altogether the whole estuary of the Tay does not afford annually above 
3000 fish. There are seven boats in the parish employed in this fishery, which keep 
fourteen men employed during the open season. The spirling fishing was at o.e time 
also prosecuted in this parish ; but for some time back it has been given up, as the fish 
seem to have abandoned this part of the water, and are now only to be found at some 
of the rapids farther up. 

VII. There are no persons in the parish who have any capital employed in the 
linen manufacture ; but there are a good many employed in weaving for the manu- 
facturers in Dundee, with which town there is a weekly communication by the packet. 
About 150 men and women are engaged in this branch of industry, some of them 
wholly and others only partially.* Some of the young men employed during winter 
in weaving, are engaged during summer at the Greenland whale fishing; and some 

* Andrew GfulTan, a weaver belonging to this parish, was one of the party who intercepted and murdered arch- 
bishop Sharp on Magus Muir. Andrew, although present, was not personally engaged in the deed, hut was em- 
ployed in holding the horse of some of the others more actively employed. He was tried and convicted however 
of being an accessary ; and was executed at Edinburgh. It is rather singular that the only two persons who 
were executed for this murder, Hackston and Gullan, were neither of them principals in the act — the actual per- 
petrators having all made their escape to the continent. 


of the women betake themselves to out-door labour. An expert weaver can earn 
upon an average 2s. per day of twelve hours. 

The harbour or quay at Balmerino, was originally erected for shipping lime for the 
Fife hills to Dundee, but this export has long ceased. It afterwards became the chief 
place on the south side of the Tay for the export of grain,* but this traffic has also long 
deserted it, not a boll of grain being now shipped there. It is still useful however for 
loading and unloading the packet, which as already mentioned, plies weekly between 
Balmerino and Dundee, and a considerable number of vessels discharge cargoes of 
coals at it during the season. Of late years great quantities of potatoes have been 
shipped here by the Messrs Rentoul for the London market. The pier is in excellent 
repair, but from the want of a sufficient depth of water occasioned by extensive sand 
banks in this part of the firth, only vessels of small dimensions can approach it. This 
no doubt accounts to a certain extent for its falling off as a place for shipping grain. 

* Statistical Report, vol. IX. p. 221. 



I. The parish of Moonzie, which lies to the north-west of that of Cupar, is probably the 
smallest rural parish in Scotland. Its greatest length from north to south is scarcely 
two miles, and its greatest breadth from east to west about the same. In some 
places, however, it is scarcely half a mile in breadth. The surface of the parish is 
finely diversified by various round shaped hills of no great eminence, presenting in 
other places, particularly where it marches with Kilmany, level flats of considerable 
extent. The great deficiency of trees, and the total absence of hedges, however, de- 
tract much from the beauty of its appearance, although probably not from its value in 
an agricultural point of view. With the exception of a clump on the summit of the 
hill which rises above the farm steading of Colluthie, and a few in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the church and manse, there is not a dozen of other trees in the 
whole parish. Moonzie is bounded on the south by the parish of Monimail, on the 
east by Cupar and Kilmany, on the north by Kilmany andCreich; and on the west by 
Creich. It contains about 1100 Scotch, or 1375 imperial acres. There are only three 
proprietors in the parish, the right hon. the earl of Glasgow, who succeeded some 
few years ago to the estates of the earldom of Crawford, on the death of Lady Mary 
Lindsay Crawford, the sister of the last earl, and who is proprietor of the farms of 
Moonzie, Lords Cairnie and Myreside. John Inglis, Esq. of Colluthie, and Henry Inglis, 
Esq. of Newington. None of these reside in the parish. There is no village in the 
parish; a few cottages on the farm of Moonzie, and about half a dozen on that of Lords 
Cairnie supplying sufficient accommodation for the cottars and labouring part of the 
population. There is 1 mile 1430 yards of turnpike roads; and 1 mile 500 yards of 
statute labour roads in the parish. There is no inn or public house nearer than 
Luthrie in the parish of Cfeich. 

The church of Moonzie stands on a rising ground at the western extremity of the 
parish, and forms a conspicuous object from the Newburgh road. It is a plain build- 
ing with a belfry at the one end; small, but sufficient for the size of the congregation. 
It was gifted by William Malvoisin, bishop of St Andrews, to the ministry of Scotland's 
Well, an institution founded by him previous to 1238, and in which he planted a colony 
of the " Fratrcs Sancta: Trinitatis de redemptione captivorum."-* The purpose of this 
institution was to form a receptacle for religious pilgrims; and the resident friars collected 
charities which were applied to the redeeming of christians, who had become slaves in 
the Turkish dominions. It appears from the charter, that the church of Moonzie was 
dedicated to the holy Trinity ; it also appears, that the parish was at this time called Ur- 

* Sibbald's History of Fife, p. 282. 


hithumenesyn. The name was afterwards spelled Uchtermonsey, as in 1513, Alexan- 
der Crawford of Uchtermonsey succeeded his nephew in the earldom of Crawford.* In 
consequence of the gift of the bishop, the brethren of the ministry drew the tithes of 
the parish for their support, and supplied the cure; and this arrangement continued 
till the reformation. After that event it was conjoined with the parish of Cupar (about 
1564); and in 1576 a reader appears to have been appointed. In 1625, seven years 
after the parishes of Cupar and Tarvet were conjoined, Mr James Wedderburn was 
appointed minister, since which time it has continued as at present a separate charge.! 
The present incumbent is the Rev. Alexander Kidd, D. D. The right honourable the 
Earl of Glasgow is patron. The stipend is, meal, 7 bolls, 3 firlots, 1 peck, 3 lippies; 
bear, 3 bolls, 3 firlots, 2 pecks and 3 lippies; and money £177 18s. Sd. sterling. 
There is an excellent manse and a glebe of 15 acres. From fifty to seventy persons 
usually communicate at the sacrament: of whom from twenty to thirty belong to the 
parish, and from thirty to forty to the neighbouring parishes. There are five dissen- 
ters in the parish, four of whom attend the relief meeting house, and one the secession 
meeting house at Cupar. There are seldom more than from four to five paupers on 
the roll. They are supported by the collections at the church door; and by the rent 
of some land which has been mortified for their behoof. 

In the parish school all the usual branches of education are taught. The school is 
well attended considering the population, and the fees are moderate for the more ordi- 
nary branches. English reading is 2s. per quarter, writing 2s. Gd. and arithmetic 3s. 
The teacher has the maximum salary, a good house and garden, and a school house. 

II. There are only two objects possessing any antiquarian interest in the parish ; 
Cairnie castle, commonly called the Lords Cairnie, an ancient seat of the earls of Craw- 
ford; and an old house, Colluthie, the remains of the residence of the Ramsays of 
Colluthie. The castle of Cairnie is said to have been built by Alexander, third earl of 
Crawford, commonly called Earl Beardy from his great beard, or the Tiger Earl from 
the fierceness of his disposition. The probability is that the tradition is correct, as the 
property of Moonzie, Lords Cairnie and Myreside, then generally denominated Auch- 
termoonzie, came to the Crawford family by the marriage of Alexander, second earl, 
with Mariotta Dunbar, daughter and heiress of David Dunbar of Cockburn, son of 
George earl of March, who was proprietor of Auchtermoonzie. Sibbald errs, p. 410, 
in saying, that the Lords Cairnie came to the Crawfords in James IV.'s time by mar- 
riage of Dunbar, heiress of Moonzie ;f and the cause of this error obviously is, that 
John, filth earl of Crawford, who was killed at Flodden with James IV. was married 
to Mariotta daughter of the second lord Home, who was descended from the great 

* Douglas' Tcerage, vol. I. p. 378. f Records of Synod of Fife, pp. 219, 225. 

•j- There can be no doubt of Sibbald's being wrong, and that Alexander the second earl obtained these lands, 
because Alexander the sixth eari had obtained these lands from his father, and was styled of Auchtermoonzie, 


family of Dunbars earls of March.* All that remains of this ancient stronghold of the 
once powerful family of Crawford is the keep or donjon, and a round tower which had 
formed a defence for the wall with which the court yard was surrounded. In all pro- 
bability a considerable portion of ground had been surrounded with a wall, defended 
by several such towers, but the whole has now disappeared with the buildings which 
they enclosed, with the exception of the principal keep or stronghold. This ruin is 
four stories high, and appears to have lost nothing of its original height, with the ex- 
ception of the bartizans which surrounded its roof. It is 53 feet in length, and 42 in 
breadtl), without the walls. The walls are strongly built, and between five and six feet 
thick. The ground floor, as is common in such structures, appears to have been en- 
tirely occupied by cellars, having arched stone roofs. The second floor was occupied 
entirely with the great hall which is about 40 feet in length, and above 20 feet 
in breadth. The defence of the castle and its outworks was anciently strengthened by 
a broad morass which appears to have entirely surrounded the slight rising ground on 
which they were situated. 

The old house of Colluthie is said to have been erected by Sir William Ramsay of 
Colluthie, who, about 1356, married Isabel, countess of Fife, daughter of Duncan the 
last earl of Fife, of the ancient race of Macduff. In consequence of his marriage with 
the countess, he was invested with the earldom, says Sir James Balfour, by David II., 
by the cincture of the belt and sword as the custom then was.i Sibbald says that in a 
charter to the Scrimgeours, he is placed before the earl of March, from which he con- 
cludes that he had probably some right to the title by blood. There is no reason to 
believe, however, that he had any other right than was derived from the investiture of 
the crown in consequence of his marriage with the heiress. He died without 
heirs, and the investiture reverted to the crown ; and his own estates to his other heirs, 
whose successors long possessed Colluthie. There seems little reason to believe that 
the old house of Colluthie, which is still habitable, was erected by this Sir William, as 
that would make it about 100 years older than the castle of Cairnie. It is, however, 
very old; and though not erected by him, was by one of his descendants, or of the family 
who succeeded. The house, the walls of which are very thick and of great strength, 
has been repaired as far as possible to preserve it, by the present proprietor Mr Inglis. 
From the thickness of the walls indeed one would be inclined to think that this build- 
ing had at one time been loftier than it now is; but of this there is no certainty, as its 
whole appearance has been much modernised and altered in many ways. 

Sir William Ramsay of Colluthie appears to have visited France in 1356, probably 
previous to his marriage with the countess of Fife. He went in the suite of the Earl 

* Douglas in his account of the Crawford family, (Peerage, vol. I. p. 378,) calls this Mariotta Home the sister 
of the second carl, but from the dates he gives it is clear she was his daughter. 

f Nisbet's Heraldry, vol. I. p. 34. 


of Douglas, who was also accompanied by Archibald de Douglas his kinsman, brother 
to tbe knight of Liddesdale. The earl offered his services, and that of the knights and 
squires who accompanied him, to John king of France, then opposing the English in- 
vasion under Edward the black prince. They were present at the battle of Poictiers, 
l'Jth September, 1356, when Archibald de Douglas was made prisoner by the English, 
but effected his escape through the presence of mind of Sir William Ramsay. The 
story is thus told by Fordun.* " Archibald Douglas having been made prisoner along 
with the rest, appeared in more sumptuous armour than the other Scottish prisoners, 
and, therefore, he was supposed by the English to be some great lord. Late in the 
evening after the battle, when the English were about to strip off his armour, Sir 
William Ramsay of Colluthy happening to be present, fixed his eyes on Archibald 
Douglas, and affecting to be in a violent passion, cried out, ' you cursed, damnable 
murderer, how comes it, in the name of mischief, (ex parte Diaboli,) that you are thus 
proudly decked out in your master's armour. Come hither, and pull off my boots/ — 
Douglas approached trembling, kneeled down, and pulled off one of the boots. — Ram- 
say taking up the boot, beat Douglas with it. — -The English by-standers imagining him 
out of his senses, interposed, and rescued Douglas. They said, that the person whom 
he had beaten was certainly of great rank and a lord. ' What, he a lord,' cried Ram- 
say, ' he is a scullion, and a base knave, and, as I suppose, has killed his master. — 
Go, you villain, to the field, search for the body of my cousin, your master, and when 
you have found it, come back, that, at least, I may give him a decent burial.' — Then he 
ransomed the feigned serving man for forty shillings, and having buffeted him smartly, 
he cried, ' get you gone, fly.' Douglas bore all this patiently, carried on the deceit, 
and was soon beyond the reach of his enemies." 

Elizabeth Ramsay the daughter and heiress of William Ramsay of Colluthie, the last 
male heir of the family, married David Carnegie of Panbride, and brought with her the 
lands of Leuchars Ramsay, and Colluthie. She had two daughters, one of whom got 
Leuchars Ramsay, and the other, Margaret, the estate of Colluthie. She married 
William Dundas of Fingast, and with his consent she disponed Colluthie to her father, 
who married for his second wife a daughter of Wemyss of Wemyss. In 1583, he 
obtained to himself and Euphemia Wemyss his wife, a charter of the lands of Collu- 
thie. According to archbishop Spottiswoode, this proprietor of Colluthie was a wise, 
peaceable, and sober man, in good credit and estimation with the king, and taken into 
his privy council for his knowledge in civil affairs. In 1595, he was constituted one of 
the eight commissioners of the treasury, called from their number the Octavians. 
Two of his sons were after his death raised to the peerage, his eldest being created 
Earl of Southesk, and his second son Earl of Northesk. 

III. The population of this parish at no time great, has varied very much at diffe- 

* L. xiv. c. 16. 


rent periods, but upon the whole has decreased considerably since 1755. At that 
period the return to Dr Webster was 249; but, in 1793, it had decreased to 171. In 
1801, the population had increased to 201; but, in 1811, it was only 183. In 1821, 
it was 209; and in 1831, 18S. It is at present supposed to be only 178. The follow- 
ing is the analysis of the returns made in 1831. 

Males 20 years of age 51, total male? 07; females 91, total 188. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture 25; families chiefly employed in trade, manufacture?, and handicraft 
10; all other families not included in these 12; total families 47. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers 4; ditto not employing labourers 3. 
Labourers employed in agriculture 19; ditto employed in labour not agricultural 4. 
Persons employed in manufacture 5;* ditto in handicraft as masters or workmen 10. 
Professional or educated men 2. 
Female seryants 11. Inhabited houses 45. 

IV. Moonzie, although a small, is, in an agricultural point of view, a very valuable 
parish. The soil of almost the whole parish is a strong black, or a light dry loam, 
resting on open whinstone rock. A small portion of the land however is of a coarse 
retentive moor earth mixed with gravel, the subsoil of which is stiff till; and there are 
about 36 acres of moss near the old castle which was formerly under water. The 
method of farming is the same as that generally adopted on the north side of the 
county from Newburgh to Newport ; and the general rotation, after second year's 
grass is 1st oats ; 2d turnip ; 3d potatoes or pease ; 4th wheat; 5th barley, sown down 
with grass for cutting or pasture. The best land remains one year, the light or dry soil 
from one to three years in pasture, when it is again broken up for oats. Summer 
fallow has been in a great measure neglected for many years, but the usual proportion 
prepared for it on a farm of 300 Scotch acres, was from 18 to 25 acres, before this 
improved mode of farming was discontinued. The lands are all well drained, and 
nothing seems necessary to be done in this way except to renew what time has ren- 
dered ineffective. "Wheat, barley, and oats, are all grown within the parish, and the 
usual green crops are grass, potatoes, turnips, and pease. The following table shows 
the proportion which grain and green crops bear to each other in the parish. 

On a farm of 154 Scots acres where sheep are not kept, the proportion is as near as may be, the following: 


1 . Pasture and cutting grass, 36 

2. Oats, 30 

3. Turnip, potatoes, pease 30 

4. Wheat, including 10 acres of summer fallow, 30 

5. Barley 28 


* There are at present 9 weavers in the \ arish, who work for the manufacturers in Cupar. 


Recently, however, an improved method of farming has been introduced, of which the following is the propor- 
tion : 


1 . Fallow, potatoes, or turnip, 22 

2. Wheat, 22 

3. Turnips or pease, 22 

4. Barley, 22 

5. Grass, 1 st year, 22 

6. Ditto, 2d year, 22 

7. Oats, 22 


The Fife breed of cattle, or as near as can be obtained, is yet most generally ap- 
proved of, although a few of the Teeswater and other breeds are bought in and fed for 
the butcher. The sheep kept are of the pure Cheviot ewe crossed with the Leicester 
ram, and half bred lambs for hoggets. The ewes are generally purchased at Falkirk 
tryst or Inverness fair. The number of cattle of different ages, kept on a farm of the 
extent already mentioned, is from 36 to 40 head. The farm houses and steadings are 
of the best description and suitable to the size of the farms. The duration of the leases 
is from 19 to 25 years, but two of the farms are in the natural possession of the 
proprietors. There are four thrashing mills in the parish : two of which are driven 
by steam, and two by horse power. The wages of farm servants and artisans are much 
the same as in the adjoining parishes. 

The valued rent of the parish is £1789 Scots. The real rent was in 1793, £1000 
sterling ; in 1815 it was assessed for the property tax on a rental of £2,763 sterling. 




I. Like the neighbouring parish of Moonzie, Dunbog is but of small extent, though 
very valuable in an agricultural point of view. Its greatest length from north to south 
is about three miles. Its greatest breadth at the south end is about two and a half 
miles ; but towards the north it soon lessens, and for a great proportion of its length, 
it is little more than one mile, and in many places not above half a mile in breadth. 
On the south it is bounded by the parish of Monimail ; on the east by Creich, a por- 
tion of Abdie which it cuts oft' from the rest of that parish, and the parish of Flisk; on 
the north by the river Tay, and on the west by the parish of Abdie. The surface of 
the parish consists of two ridges of hills, ranging from west to east, and which form 
part of the termination of the Ochils, and the intervening valley which lies between 
them. The northern ridge, which in a neighbouring parish rises into a lofty conical 
hill called Norman's law, is cultivated to the top, and produces every description of 
grain of excellent quality. The southern ridge, in so far as it ranges through this 
parish, rises to a great height, and is for the most part uncultivated and barren, although 
patches of it here and there have been brought under the operation of the plough of 
late years. The valley between these hills is composed of excellent soil producing 
abundant crops of every description of grain. 

The name of this parish is Celtic, and means "the morass of the fortified hill." This 
name is perfectly descriptive of what the locality was. Norman's law, anciently called 
Dunmore, or " the great fortified hill,"' still exhibits on its summit the remains of an 
ancient hill fort ; and within the memory of man, the lower portion of this parish was 
a large morass which extended along the base of the hill, and added to the strength of 
its position as a fortification. The name of the parish appears under various forms of 
spelling in ancient documents ; but none of them give any reason to doubt the origin 
or meaning which has been assigned to it. It is spelt Dinbug, Denbuig, Dunbog, 
Dunbolg, and Dunboig. 

There is no village in the parish, nor is there any public house ; but within the 
memory of man there was a large village near the church in which a weekly market 
was held. The improved system of agriculture which has been introduced, having led 
to the enlargement of the farms, soon depopulated the village, and it has now entirely 
disappeared. The nearest market and post town is Newburgh, distant about four miles 
from the church. There are two miles 610 yards of turnpike roads, and two miles 116 
yards of statute labour roads in the parish. 

II. There are only three heritors in the parish, none of whom however are resi- 
dent, Lord Dundas recently created earl of Zetland, proprietor of Dunbog, Francis 


Balfour, Esq. of Fernie, proprietor of Collairnie, and Joseph Francis Murray, Esq. of 

The estate of Dunbog anciently formed a part of the extensive barony of Balen- 
breich, which at the commencement of the 14th century belonged to the Abernethies 
of Abernethy. About 1325, Mary, a daughter and coheiress of Hugh Abernethy the 
son of Sir Patrick Abernethy of Abernethy, married Sir David de Lindsay ancestor of 
the earls of Crawford.* With her Sir David acquired lands in Angus and Roxburgh- 
shire, and also the lands of Dunbog and others in Fife. Another daughter of Hugh 
Abernethy also named Mary, married Andrew de Lesly ancestor of the earls of Rothes, 
who got w T ith her the barony of Balenbreich.t It thus appears that Dunbog was very 
early separated from the barony of which it had formed a part. Sir David de Lindsay 
was one of the Magnates Scotias who signed the famous letter to pope John, 6th April, 
1320, asserting the independency of Scotland. He fought at the battle of Halidonhill, 
and was afterwards keeper of Edinburgh castle, as we learn from Wynton,f who says 
of him, 

" Syne wes Edinburchis castale 
Gyvyn, and the town all hale, 
To Schyr Dawy the Lyndyssay, 
That was trewe, and of stedfast fay. 
Intil his time with the cuntre 
Na ryot, na na stryfe made he." 

Sibbald$ says that it afterwards "came to the lord Home, and in king James IV.'s 
reign Alexander lord Home sold it to David Bethune of Creich, whose posterity pos- 
sessed it till king Charles II. 's time, that the laird of Creich having no sons, left it to 
the laird of Balfour who sold it off." As to this assignment of Dunbog, Lamont has 
the following notice, p. 121. " 1G60, March 4, being the Sabbath, the laird of Creich 
in Fyfe, departed out of this life at Denbough, his dwelling-house, and was interred 
the 29 of Mar. at Creich church. Not long before he had disponed his estate to the 
laird of Balfoure, younger, surnamed Beton, because he had no heres of his own body." 
Dunbog appears afterwards to have been the property of major Henry Balfour, third 
son of John third lord Balfour of Burleigh. He was one of the representatives of the 
county in the last parliament of Scotland, in which he warmly opposed the union. He 
was engaged in the rebellion of 1715, as the estate appears in the list of those forfeited 
in consequence of that unfortunate affair; but it was restored to his son, and was ulti- 
mately sold in 1766 to the late Sir Lawrence Dundas, whose grandson the earl of Zet- 
land, now possesses it. The estate of Dunbog after being so long separated from it has 
therefore become again a portion of the Barony of Balenbreich. 

The principal part of the house is old, and was probably erected some time after the 

* Douglas' Peerage, vol. II. p. 4C7. t Ibid. J Cronykil, vol. II. p. 262. § History, p. 408. 


reformation ; but it has received in modern times a considerable addition. The grounds 
around it are well wooded, which tends considerably to ornament this portion of the 
parish. The site of the house was anciently that of the preceptory of Gadvan, which 
with twenty-four acres of land now forming the park and enclosures of Dunbog house, 
belonged to the monastery of Balmerino ; and here two or three of their order resided 
and cultivated the land, till their establishment was broken up by the reformation. 
The tradition of the country is, that the house of Dunbog was built by Cardinal Bethune ; 
but this is a mistake, originating in the fact, that Bethune of Balfour, of which house 
the cardinal was a son, was for a time proprietor of the estate of Dunbog. The lands 
of Gadvan, however, where the house is situated, could not have belonged to Dunbog 
till a considerable time after the death of the cardinal, as we have seen that till the 
reformation it belonged to the abbey of Balmerino. 

South-east of Dunbog is Collairnie, long the property of an ancient and honourable 
branch of the family of Barclay. The family of Berkeley originally came to England 
with William the conqueror, and settled in Glocestershire. During the twelfth cen- 
tury a branch of them settled in Scotland; and 1165, we find Walter de Berkeley 
chamberlain of the kingdom.* In 1315, Sir David Barclay married Margaret de 
Brechin, daughter of Sir David de Brechin. He was one of the chief associates of 
Robert Bruce in his endeavours to support the liberties of Scotland. After the suc- 
cessful issue of the struggle, he was appointed sheriff of the county of Fife ; and on the 
forfeiture of Sir David de Brechin his brother-in-law, king Robert bestowed upon him 
the lordship of Brechin and other lands. His son David granted a charter of the 
lands of Kyndestleth to Hugh Barclay his cousin, from whom the Barclays of Collair- 
nie were descended. t Indeed this family must have possessed Collairnie from the 
latter end of the fourteenth or beginning of the fifteenth century. David Barclay of 
Collairnie is one of the assessors in a perambulation between easter and wester King- 
horn in 1457.1 The family is now extinct, the estate having been sold by the last of 
the Barclays about forty years ago to the late Dr Francis Balfour of Fernie, father of 
the present proprietor. The Barclays, however, seem to have possessed Collairnie 
for a period of nearly 500 years. They were heritable bailies of the regality of Lin- 
dores ; and for this office we find that on the abolition of heritable jurisdictions, Anto- 
nia Barclay of Collairnie and Mr Harry Barclay her husband, received the sum of 
£215 sterling, as a compensation. This family possessed other large estates in the 
county; in 1656, we find Robert Barclay of Collairnie served heir male to his father 
Sir David Barclay, knight, among others in the lands of Kilmaron, Pitblado, Hilton, 
and Bo°hall. In his list of natives of Fife who have risen to eminence in literature or 
science, Sibbald mentions "the famous William Barclay (father of John,) professor of 
law at Angiers who derives his pedigree from Barclay of Collairnie." 

* Crawford's Officers of State, p. 253. + Douglas' Peerage, vol. I. p. 245. J Nisbet, vol. I. 126. 



The castle of Collairnie so long the residence of this family is now in ruins, but 
sufficient still remains, to show its ancient extent and grandeur. It appears to have 
formed a large square enclosing an ample court-yard, with lofty square towers at the 
four corners. One of the towers, and portions of the old walls are all that is now 
left. — The court-yard forms the farm-yard of Mr Henry Walker the tenant of the land, 
and a part of the old buildings still remaining is occupied as a barn. Above the en- 
trance from the court-yard to the tower are the initials " D. B." and " M. W.," and 
the date " 1581." It seems highly probable, however, that the date of the erection of 
the building is much older, as the door-way over which this date is placed has every 
appearance of having been altered from what it originally was ; and it was a very 
common practice for proprietors of castles when making alterations to put up their 
own initials and the date of the alterations. The roofs of two rooms which occupy the 
second and third flats of the tower are worthy notice, from their being divided into 
compartments on which are emblazoned the arms of the family, and of the various fami- 
lies with which they were connected. The colouring has been bright and vivid ; but 
is now greatly faded, and fast becoming indistinct. With some trouble, however, we 
were still able to make out what the majority of the families were whose arms were 
thus displayed.* Besides the arms, there were several inscriptions on both roofs which 
however, with the exception of a few words, are almost entirely effaced. 

Between Collairnie and Dunbog, and at the east boundary of the parish is Balmeadow, 
anciently Balmeady, which Sibbald says in his time gave "title to Sir David Car- 
michael in Perthshire : this was exchanged by the earl of Fife with the earl of Angus 
giving Balmeady for Balbirny ; and in king James III.'s reign, the earl of Angus gave 
Balmeady with the heritable bailiary of the regality of Abernethy to a gentleman of the 
name of Carmichael captain of the castle of Crawford, Sir David's predecessor, who 
married the earl's mother when a widow."t It is now the property of Joseph Francis 
Murray, Esq. of Ayton. 

III. The parish church is situated near the mansion-house, and near the centre of 
the parish. It was built in 1803, is in good repair, and is seated to hold 200. The 
sittings are all free. The manse was built in 1792, but received a considerable addi- 

* In the lower room the arras are those of Barclay of Collairnie, Barclay of Touch, Barclay of Towie, Barclay 
of Mathers, Balfour of Grange, Balfour of Balgarvy, Balfour of Balfour, Balfour of Denmiln, Bethune of Creich, 
Bethune of Balfour, Bethune of Nethertarvit, Melville of Balgarvie, Colville of Cleish, Fernie of that ilk, Forrester 
of Carden, Henderson of , Henderson of Fordel, Inglis of Tan-it, Kinnaird of the Carse, Moncrief of that 

ilk, Monypenny of l'itmillic, Melville of Cairnie, Learmonth of Dairsie, Ramsay of Colluthie, Wemyss of that 
ilk, Sandislands of St Monance, and Trail of Blebbo. In the upper room there are Scott of Abbotshall, Melville 
of Raith, Stewart of Rosyth, Seaton of , Murray of Glendoick, Scott of Bahveary, Sibbald of Balo-onie, 

Seaton of Pitmedden, Colville of Easter Wemyss, Lundy of that ilk, Ramsay of Cracknestoun, Lundy of Bal- 
gonie, Strang of Balcasky, Kincraigy of that ilk, Stewart of Minto, Towers of Innerleith, and the lord Innermeath. 
Besides these there are some others in the upper room which we found it impossible to decypher. 

I History of Fife, p. 409. 


tion about fourteen years ago, so that it is both comfortable and commodious. The 
glebe contains about five imperial acres of good land, which originally formed part of 
the lands belonging to the preceptory of Gudvan. The stipend is 14 bolls, 3 pecks, 3 
lippies, meal; 61 bolls, 2 pecks, 1 lippy, barley; 12 bolls, 1 firlot, bear; 5 bolls, 2 
firlots, 3 pecks, 2 lippies, oats; and in money £68 lis. sterling. 

The present incumbent is the Rev. John Murray.* The patronage is in the crown. 
The average number of communicants is 135, but this includes a number from Flisk 
and Abdie, who attend the ordinances in this parish. There are no dissenting families 
in the parish. A few of the farm servants are dissenters ; but as they are so often 
removing, it is impossible to speak precisely as to their number. 

In 183G there were 13 on the poor's roll receiving regular weekly aliment; and 
others receiving occasional assistance. The aliment is seldom given in money, but the 
tenant, on whose lands the pauper resides is authorised by the session to give the value 
in meal and potatoes. The sum annually distributed may be about £30 sterling. Of 
this £12 is collected at the church door, and the rest drawn from a sum of money 
belonging to the poor. 

The parish school is situated near the church ; and here the usual branches of 
education are taught. The salary is the maximum ; and the teacher has a dwelling- 
house, school-room, and garden. The fees are small, and seldom produce above £15 
per annum. There is no person in the parish above the age of childhood but what is 
able to read and write. 

IV. The population has been regularly decreasing since the latter end of the last 
century. Previous to that it was 400 ; but in 1801, it was only 232. In 1811, it was 

* The Rev. Adam Cairns, late minister of the parish, now first minister of Cupar, who wrote the New Statistical 
Account of the parish, gives in it a numher of curious extracts from the records of the session, among which are 
the following. " 1671, Given to John Rule and John Cunninham two men that had their houses burnt at 
Sligo, 12s." " 1675, A voluntary contribution for rebuilding of the town of Kelso which was burnt down;" 
and there is also a contribution for the town of Newburgh which had been burnt down a few years after. " 1678, 
the minister did intimate a voluntar contribution for the relief of some Montrose seamen taken by the Turks.'' 
" 1680, There was two acts read for a voluntar contribution, the one in favour of John Aitchison skipper in Pit- 
enweem, his mate Alexander Black, ten mariners and two passengers taken by Turkish men of war, and carried 
up to Sallee and there ever since slaves. The other in favour of Robert Angus skipper in Burntisland who was 
taken by a Turkish man-of-war belonging to Algiers, and was kept as a slave since." " 1707, Given to George 
Hamilton, a man taken by the French pirates and retaken by the Dutch, and who had five children, 10s." Again 
same year " November 10, This day there was given to James Forbes and his wife in their distress, they being 
robbed by the French pirates, 12 B." In " 1687, September 16, the minister read an order of the privy council 
for a contribution this day eight days for helping the harbour of Eyemouth." " 1682, A voluntary contribution 
is ordered for building a stone bridge over the water of Ness at Inverness." The following entry shows the strong 
measures which were adopted on the murder of archbishop Sharp to endeavour to arrest the assassins. " 1678, 
May 18, a proclamation was read from the pulpit by the minister, ordaining the whole heritors within the parish 
to cause their tenants, cottars, servants, and all other on their grounds to compear at Cupar, on Friday the 23rd 
of May instant, to clear and vindicate themselves from the late murder of my lord archbishop of St Andrews." 


185 ; in 1821, 176 ; in 1S31, 197 ; and in 1836, 170 ; which is about its present state. 
The following is the analysis of the government return in 1831. 

Males 20 years of age 51, total males, 93 j females 104, total 197. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 3G ; ditto handicraft, 7 ; all other families not comprised in preceding 
two, 4 ; total families, 47. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers, 6; labourers employed in agriculture, 33. 

Persons employed in handicraft as masters or workmen, 8. 

Professional or educated men, 3. 

Female servants, 16 ; inhabited houses, 45. 

IV. The greatest portion of the soil in this parish is a rich black mould of no great 
depth, resting upon whinstone, which appears in many places through the soil, forming 
barren spots in the middle of the best fields ; though in some places there is a bed of 
gravel interposed between the whinstone and the soil. There are a few fields of a 
clayey texture ; and towards the east the soil is of a sharper quality, though equally 
productive. From the nature of the subsoil, and the disposition of the surface, the 
land is easily drained, and is therefore dry and early. A portion of the arable ground 
consists of the reclaimed bog, already alluded to. This drainage was executed about 
thirty years ago, at the joint expense of the proprietors in whose lands it lay ; and has 
been a very valuable improvement. Instead of an extensive tract of ground covered 
with brushwood in some places and in others with coarse rank grass, interspersed with 
large pools of stagnant bog water, among which a few half-starved cattle waded about in 
search of a scanty subsistence, we have now a succession of fruitful and highly culti- 
vated corn fields. The soil, however, which has been reclaimed is soft and mossy, 
and not very well qualified for growing wheat. The subsoil is in general sand or 
gravel ; but in some places it is a cold clay, or hard till. In this mossy soil evidence 
is found of its having at one time been an extensive forest ; oak trees black as ebony 
and in good preservation being sometimes turned up. * 

There are in the parish about 1820 imperial acres of arable land ; about 270 of hill 
pasture or waste land ; and about 30 under wood. The system of husbandry is much 
the same as in the neighbouring parishes, viz. a six shift rotation, 1st summer fallow or 
potatoes ; 2d wheat ; 3d green crop ; 4th barley ; 5th grass ; and 6th oats. The greatest 
hinderance to improvement in the husbandry of the parish is the want of fences, the 
fields being all open and unenclosed. The farmer is in consequence prevented from 
giving the land that rest in pasture which he would be inclined to do ; nor can he take 
the full advantage of the improved sheep husbandry, which promises so much good to 
agriculture. Notwithstanding this, however, sheep are bought in and put on the 
stubble in autumn, and put to feed off turnip in winter and spring. They are generally 
Cheviots and the black-faced breed. The breed of cattle is very much mixed, in 

* New Statistical Account, Fifesbire, p. 207. 


consequence of the old Fife breed having at one time fallen into disrepute. Short 
horns were introduced, and were and are still reared to the highest perfection. The 
tide of public opinion has, however, again turned in favour of the old breed ; but it 
is now very difficult to be obtained pure. The following is the estimated average 
annual amount of raw produce raised in the parish. 

The gross amount of all descriptions of grain raised annually in the parish, £8336. 

Potatoes and turnips grown in the field, 2765. 

Grass 606. 

Total, £11,707. 

The average rent of the arable land in the parish is about £2 per imperial acre ; 
but this of course varies, as a considerable part of the rent is determined by the 
fiars of the county. The total rental of the parish may be estimated at £3000 ster- 
ling. The rental on which the property tax was assessed in 1815, was £2,957 ster- 
ling. The valued rent is £3,162 13s. 4d. Scots. The leases are for the usual period 
of 19 years. The farm steadings and offices are all of the best description. The 
wages of the farm servants are much the same as in the neighbouring parishes. There 
are five threshing mills in the parish. 



I. Tins parish lies to the west of the parish of Cupar; the church and village being about 
six miles distant from the cross of that burgh. Its greatest length, from south east to 
north west, is about six miles and a quarter ; its greatest breadth, three miles. It is 
bounded on the south by the parish of Kettle ; on the east by the parishes of Cults and 
Monimail ; on the north by the parish of Abdie ; and on the west by the parishes of 
Newburgh and Auchtermuchty. The great proportion of the parish occupies the bot- 
tom of the great valley which divides the county, and is called the How of Fife ; but 
towards the north and north east, it stretches up the range of hills which alike form 
its northern boundary, and that of the valley. From the number of houses of resident 
proprietors which the parish contains, all more or less finely ornamented with wood; 
and from the extent of wood which has been planted on the poorer portion of the soil 
called Edensmuir, the surface of the parish is in general very beautiful ; and when 
viewed from any of the surrounding heights, the eye wanders over its waving greenery 
of branches with pleasure and delight. Nor does the Eden, which skirts its southern 
boundary, and the water of Keilour, near its eastern boundary, escape observation as 
lending their aid to ornament the scene. 

The parish is well provided with roads kept in the very best manner ; there being 1 1 
miles, 110 yards of turnpike roads; and 12 miles, 996 yards of statute labour roads, 
which traverse it. The turnpike roads give every facility of communication with the 
different portions of the county, and all the surrounding districts ; as the road from 
Cupar to Kinross, and that from Kirkaldy to Newburgh, cross each other near the 
village ; and the road from Kirkaldy to Woodhaven and Newport, passes through the 
entire breadth of the parish. A runner passes every day from Cupar to Auchter- 
muchty, who leaves letters and parcels at the Trafalgar inn near the village, and at the 
lodges of the different mansion houses of the resident proprietors. There are carriers 
almost every day to various parts of the county ; and one twice a week passes between 
( lupar and Auchtermuchty. No public conveyance goes through the parish; and the 
village is distant six miles from the new inn, where the coaches which pass three times 
a day between Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen, change horses. The nearest point 
at which a public conveyance can be obtained is three miles. The line of the projected 
railway connecting the Forth and the Tay, will pass through the centre of the parish, 
and lie a great public convenient- ■>, when carried into effect. Auchtermuchty is the 
post town and nearest market town. Cupar and Falkland are about equi-distant. 

Besides the village of Collessie situated near the church, which contains 180 inhabi- 
tants, there are several other villages, or rather hamlets, in the parish. Three of these, 
Giffcrton, Edenston, and Monkston, are of recent erection. The houses in these are 



all neat, new, and comfortable. The hamlet of Monkston contains twenty-four cot- 
tages, forming one line, with a space of twelve feet between each four cottages ; so that 
it is divided into six compartments. There was formerly a village at Kinloch, which 
contained 191 inhabitants ; but this is almost entirely removed, and the cottagers now 
inhabit Monkston. 

II. The resident landed proprietors in the parish are Henry Cheape, Esq., of Ros- 
sie ; Miss Arnot of Lochie-head; Charles Kinnear, Esq., of Kinnear and Kinloch; 
William Walker, Esq., of Pitlair, and David Maitland Makgill, Esq., of Nether Ran- 
keilour ; the principal non-resident are the earl of Leven and Melville, William John- 
stone, Esq., of Lathrisk; James Herriot, Esq., of Ramornie, and James Bogie, Esq., 
of Kinloch. 

Commencing our account of the different properties at the north west extremity of 
the parish, we have first Lumquhat, which formed part of the extensive estates of David 
earl of Huntingdon, brother of William the Lyon. These lands were gifted by him, 
along with the lordship of Brechin, to Henry de Brechin, his natural son. His son 
Sir William de Brechin was one of the regents of Scotland appointed in Sept. 1255; 
and was one of the nobles who became bound to acknowledge Margaret of Norway as 
their sovereign, in the event of the demise of Alexander III. His son, Sir David de 
Brechin, swore fealty to Edward I. in 1296 ; and was one of the great barons sum- 
moned to attend that monarch into France in 1297. In the struggle for independence 
under Bruce, he fought on the English side. He subsequently made his peace with 
king Robert and ranged himself under his banner, having married the king's sister, 
by whom he had two sons, Sir David de Brechin, who was called the flower i f Chi- 
valry, and distinguished himself in the holy land against the Saracens ; and Thoi.ias de 
Brechin, who obtained from his father the lands of Lumquhat.* Sir David and his 
brother Thomas were forfeited in 1320, in consequence of their being privy to the con- 
spiracy of lord Soulis,the countess of Strathern, and others, against king Robert.t The 
lands of Lumquhat were in consequence of this forfeiture granted to John Ramsay, 
afterwards designed of Lumquhat. This property, according to Sibbald, subsequently 
belonged to a family of the name of Bonnar; and when he wrote, to a captain Leslie, 
a cadet of the family of Rothes. It is now the property of Miss Arnot of Lochie- 

South east of Lumquhat is the house of Lochie-head, the residence of Miss Arnot ; 
and farther south, on the south side of the road to Auchtermuchty, is Rossie, the seat 
of Henry Cheape, Esq. In the reign of David I. this estate belonged to Dominus 
Henricus Rossey de eodem ; and in the 7th year of the reign of Malcolm IV., Sir 
Alexander de Rossey was forfeited.! Rossie was then granted to Duncan, fifth earl of 

* Nisbet's Heraldry, I. 77; Robertson's Index, 33. I Dalryrople's Awials, Vol. II. p. 107. 

+ Sibbald, p. 389. 


Fife, and remained with the earldom, till Robert duke of Albany, earl of Fife, granted 
a charter " de terris de Rossie et Creinbeg," to Sir John Sibbald of Balgony. With 
the Sibbalds Rossie remained till 1472, when it came into possession of the above named 
familyof Bonnar; with whom it remained till 1630, when it was purchased by Sir James 
Scott. Shortly afterwards Rossie was acquired by major-general Sir John Brown, in con- 
sequence of his marriage with Mary, the daughter and heiress of Sir John Scott. He 
was taken prisoner by the English in a skirmish which took place betwixt Dunfermline 
and Inverkeithing, on 17th July, 1651, and died at Leith in August following. In 
April 1652, his estate was sequestrated by the English, and a fifth part of the yearly rents 

allowed to his lady. In 1654, the lady married Barclay, younger of Collairney, 

who died in 1663 ; after which, in 1667, she married William Muir, of Rowallan, in 
Ayrshire, who was the last male heir of that ancient family, which had given a 
queen to the Scottish throne. Upon the same day, her only daughter, by Sir John 

Brown, and heiress of Rossie, was married to Dunlop, of Dunlop, another 

Ayrshire gentleman. During these proceedings, the sequestration on the estate had 
been removed, as in 166;) the heiress of Rossie and her husband sold the estate to 
James Cheape of Ormiston, Advocate, representative of the Cheapes of Mawhill, 
near Kinross, and ancestor of the present proprietor.* 

* The following notices appear in Lamond's Diary, as to the transactions above narrated. " 1651, 
Jul. 17, being Thursday, — a pairtie of the English armie inuaded the shyre of Fyfe. They lauded att 
Enderkethen, and did intrenchc themsclfs ther. The "20 of July, being Sunday, they fell vpon a pairtie 
of our armie that came from Stirling, betuixt Dumfermling and Enderkethen, at which place seuerall 
of that pairtie were killed, seuerall taken, and the rest fled. At this tyme S c Jhone Browne was 
taken prisoner, younge Bacomie wounded, and llanderstone younger wounded ; both were taken pri- 
soners. The following regiments of horse were scattered, viz. the lord Balcarresscs, Briechens, Sir 
J ho. Brouns, and coll. Scots. — p. 32. 1651, Aug. — General Maior S Jhone Browne depairted out 
of this life att Leith, whillc he was prisoner with the English garesone ther. His corps were brought 
ouer to ltossee in Fyfe. In Apr. following, his estate was sequestrat by the English, and a fyft 
part of it allotted to his lady yearlie. — p. 34. 1654, Apr. — The laird of Collernie, younger in Fyfe, 
married the laird of Rosses daughter (formerlie S Jhone Brownea lady). They were married in 
Leith by Mr Jhone Stirling, minister of Edenbroghe. — p. 69. 1663, Feb. — The laird of Collerny 
in FifFe, being but a yowng man, depairted out of this life at Edb., and was interred the 14lh of 
Feb. all Collerny, in the night season. — p. 159. 1667. — About the end of May or the begim'ng of 
June, the laird of Rowallan, a west cowntrey genl dman, mailed the lady Collerny, yo. formerly 
the deceassed S r Jhone Browns lady ; and the laird of Dalape, yo. a west cowntrey gentelman also, ma- 
riedhironly dawghtcr to the said S r Jhone Brown, heretrix of Rossy in Fyffe. Remember both (lie mo- 
ther and dawghter were contracted alt one tyme at Edb., and both proclaimed att one tyme in (her 
parish church of Monemeall, and both maried att one tyme in Edb. — p. 199. 1669. —This spring Mr 
James Cheape of Ormston, advocal. att Edb. bowght the lands of Rossie in Fyffe from the laird ol 
Dilapp, who married the heretrix of the same. I(t was estimat about 06 chald. of victwall and money, 
and it stood him about fowrescore and sex thowsand mcrkes. — p. 210. 


The house of Rossie is old, but commodious; and the grounds are well laid out 
and well planted. Formerly they were ornamented by a fine lake, which Sibbald says 
abounded in pikes and perches ; but this lake is now completely drained and converted 
into arable land. This great improvement was begun in 1740, when a considerable 
portion of land was recovered, but a great portion of the ground remained a morass 
in summer and was covered with water in winter. In 1805 and 1806, however, the 
late proprietor, captain Cheape, at an expense of £3000, deepened and extended the 
drains leading off the water to the Eden ; and thus brought the land into a compara- 
tively dry state. About 250 acres of it have been made capable of producing good 
crops of grain, although about 40 acres, in what was formerly the centre of the loch, 
still remain marshy, producing only natural hay. 

East of Rossie, and within little more than a mile of the village of Collessie, is 
Kinloch, the residence of Charles Kinnear, Esq. This was anciently the property of 
the Kinlochs of that ilk ; the family having taken their name from these lands, a 
name descriptive of the situation. Cean-loch, in the Celtic, means the head of 
the loch, which refers to their position on the north side of Rossie loch. Sib- 
bald savs he had seen three original charters about the reign of Alexander III., 
"by the second, Roger de Quinci* comes de Winton constabularius, to Johanni de 
Kyndelouch of a miln and some lands about this place." This family, says Nisbet,t 
" seems to be very ancient, and the name one of the earliest surnames in the kingdom;'' 
he farther adds that they sometimes carried in their arms " a Bishop's pale or," in 
consequence of an alleged connection with Kellach, who was second bishop of St 
Andrew- ; or with another of the same name, who, according to several of the cata- 
logues of these early bishops, was the fourth on the list. Hamilton of AVishaw, a 
learned antiquary, at the beginning of last century was, Nisbet says, in possession of 
five ancient charters granted to this family. Sir Alexander Kinloch of that ilk sold the 
lands of Kinloch to Balfour of Balgarvie, predecessor to the lord Burleigh. The lands 
were afterwards the patrimony of the well-known John Balfour of Kinloch, descend- 
ed from the Balfours of Burleigh. He was one of the most active of the mur- 
derers of Archbishop Sharp, fought afterwards at Drumclog and Bothwell bridge, and 
made his escape to the continent, where he died. At the time Sibbald wrote, the lands 
of Kinloch belonged to "Mr James Bruce, descended from the family of Airth, who 
hath built a new house here with gardens and a park."| The lands are now in the 

Roger de Quinci was carl of Winchester, not of Winton. He had extensive estates in Fife and 
various other counties in Scotland. He obtained the office of Lord High Constable of Scotland, by 
his marriage with Elena, daughter of Allan lord of Galloway. 

I Vol. II. App. p. 27. 

X History of Fife, p. 390. The Braces of Airth, were descended from Edward Bruce, second son 
of Robert de Brays ancestor of the Earl of Elgin. 


possession of two different proprietors, Charles Kinnear, Esq. ; * and James Bogii?, 
Esq., who have both mansion houses upon their lands. 

North east of Kinloch is Weddersbie, which also anciently belonged to the family of 
Kinloch. Sir Alexander Kinloch, who sold the original family estate, retained the 
mj oi' Weddersbie, and having been at feud with several of his neighbours, he 
built a castle at Cruivie, in which he resided, lie had three sons and two daughters; 
but his sons were all killed in the various feuds in which he was involved. His two 
daughters therefore, became his joint heiresses, and one of them, Jean, the second 
daughter, was married to Sir James Sandilands of Calder, ancestor of lord Torphichen, 
and brought with her the barony of Weddersbie, and other lands. t His second son, 
James Sandilands, afterwards designed of Cruvie, and ancestor of the lords Aber- 
crombie, obtained a charter from his nephew Sir James Sandilands, grandson of the 
above Sir James, of the lands of Cruivie, Weddersbie, and others, in exchange for the 
baronies of Calder and others, on the 17th May, 1509. Sir James Sandilands of St 
Monance, the fifth in descent from James Sandilands of Cruivie, was served heir to his 
grandfather in extensive estates in Fife, and a nong others to the barony of Weddersbie. | 
King Charles I. was pleased to raise him to the dignity of the peerage by the title of lord 
Abercrombie, by letters patent, dated 12th December, 1647. He was an extravagant 
young man, and wasted his whole fortune within five years of his succeeding to his 
grandfather. He sold his lands to lieutenant general Sir David Leslie, in 1649 ; and 
in 1650 left the kingdom, with the intention of remaining abroad, but returned in 1658. 
Weddersbie is now the property of William Johnston, Esq., of Lathrisk, who about 
twentv years ago planted about 200 imperial acres of the hill portion of the estate. 

East of Weddersbie, and north of Kinloch, is the village (or kirktown) of Collessie, 
which, with the lands of Newton of Collessie, formerly belonged to the family of Kin- 
loch. Isabella Kinloch, the eldest daughter of Sir Alexander Kinloch already men- 
Mr Kinnear is in possession of three pictures by Sir David Wilkic, which are well worthy a 
visit from all lovers of art. They are not only peculiarly interesting as among the earliest of that great 
artist's productions; but they have great intrinsic value in themselves, and if better known would, 
if possible, add to his already great and well earned fame. The largest of these pictures, " Pitlcssie 
Fair," is said to have occupied Sir David a year in its execution. Pitlcssie, the annual fair of which 
he has here immortalised, is a small village near the manse of Cults, where the artist spent his early 
The fair must therefore have been vivi ily implanted on his young imagination ; and lie lias in 
this ] bodied it with a vigour and truth to nature, which lie has hardly in any instance ex- 

celled. The picture contains altogether 150 figures; and the manner in which they are variously 
grouped is truly admirable. The drawing throughout the whole of this fine piece is perfectly correct, 
an 1 the colouring rich, and beautifully toned. "Pitlcssie fair," and the other two small pictures, 
were painted by Sir i )avid fur the late .Mr Kinnear, and presented to him in testimony of the kindness 
ami friendship he had uniformly experienced in his youth at Kinloch. 

\ -IhI, vol. II. App. p. 28. ! Inqui. Retor. Abbr. 


ticmed, married William Ramsay of Leuchars and Colluthie, who with her acquired 
the lands of Collessie, Cruivie, &c, part of her father's estate. Their daughter Eliza- 
beth married David Carnegie of Panbride, father of the first earl of South esk and North- 
esk, who with her obtained the lands of Collessie, which, with other estates in Fife, 
came to their eldest son the earl of Southesk. 

North of Collessie and on the borders of the parish of Monimail, is Hallhill, anciently 
called lesser Collessie, and a portion of which is now within the enclosures round Melville 
house. On the 10th of August, 1539, Henry Balnaves, afterwards designed of Hallhill, 
who had been appointed a lord of Session on the 31st July, 1538, obtained a charter 
of these lands to himself and Cristane Scheves his wife.* He was a native of Kirkaldy, 
studied first at St Andrews, and afterwards proceeded abroad, where he imbibed the 
principles of the reformation. He was appointed Secretary of State by the earl of 
Arran when elected Regent, and is said by Sir James Melville to have been very 
instrumental in obtaining to be passed the celebrated act of parliament introduced 
by lord Maxwell, by which the reading of the bible in the " vulgar toung," was per- 
mitted. He was afterwards one of the ambassadors to Henry VIII., who carried the 
instructions of parliament with regard to the marriage of the infant queen Mary. He 
was dismissed by Arran from his office in 1543 ; and in November of that year was, 
with the earl of Rothes and lord Gray, apprehended by the regent and Cardinal Beaton 
at Dundee, and confined in the castle of Blackness until May following, when they 
were restored to liberty by the arrival of Henry's fleet in the Firth of Forth. After 
the murder of the Cardinal, he entered the castle of St Andrews with the assassins, 
and was subsequently sent by them as their agent into England, where he received 
from the guardians of Edward VI. considerable sums of money for them, and pro- 
mises "of effectual assistance.! He himself received a pension of £125 from ladyday 
154(1. In 1547, he became bound that Leslie and his associates should do what they 
could to deliver Mary and the castle of St Andrews into the hands of the English.! 
When the castle of St Andrews surrendei*ed to the regent, he was sent with the other 
persons who had held it to France, and confined at Rouen ; and during this imprison- 
ment he wrote a treatise on justification, which was printed at Edinburgh in 1584. In 
1556, the forfeiture he had incurred was removed, when he returned to Scotland ; and 
in 1559, " the year,"' according to Pitscottie, "of the uprore about religion," he took a 
leading part for the congregation. He was secretly dispatched in August of that year 
to seek the assistance of queen Elizabeth's envoy, Sir Ralph Sadler, at Berwick, and 
obtained from him a promise of an aid of £2000 sterling. 

He was, on the 11th February 1563, reappointed to a seat on the bench, and in 
December of that year, named one of the commissioners appointed to revise the " Book 
of Discipline." On the trial of Bothwell for the murder of Darnley, he was appointed one 

* Diplomata Regia, VII. 176. t Fcedera, vol. XV. 133, t Ibid. vol. XV. 144. 


of the four assessors to the earl of Argyle, the lord Justice General ; and in the following 
year he attended the recent Murray as one of the Commissioners to York, where Mary- 
was accused of a crime of which he had seen the actual perpetrator acquitted. In re- 
quital for his various services, he received the lands of Letham from the regent. He 
retired from the bench previous to October 1575, and according to M'Kenzie, his 
active and bustling political life was ended in 1579. Besides the treatise on Justifica- 
tion, he left a specimen of his poetical talent in a short ballad, entitled " Advice to a 
headstrong youth," which was printed by Ramsay in his Evergreen. 

Balnaves disponed his property of Hallhill to Sir James Melville, third son of Sir 
John Melville of Raith, and brother of Sir Robert Melville of Murdocairnie, first Lord 
Melville. Sir James was repeatedly an ambassador from Mary to Elizabeth. He was 
afterwards a privy councillor during the reign of James VI., and was a gentleman of the 
chamber to his queen, Anne of Denmark. He is described as having been an active 
and accomplished courtier and statesman. He wrote memoirs of his times, which were 
published after his death, and republished in 1735. He died in 1617, and Hallhill 
remained the property of his descendants till the reign of Charles II., when it was pur- 
chased by the earl of Melville. The house of Hallhill no longer exists, it having 
been entirely taken down, and its site included within Melville parks.* 

In the centre of the eastern portion of the parish, are extensive plantations of fir, 
occupying what was formerly a common, and was denominated Edensmuir and Monks- 
moss. This anciently formed part of the extensive estates of the de Quincis, earls of 
Winchester, and the portion of it called Monksmoss, derived its name from the right which 
the monks of Lindores possessed, of pasturage and of taking thence peats and heather. 
Roger de Quinci, who died in 1264, granted to the monks of Lindores, the right of 
taking 200 cart loads of heather yearly from his moor of Kendeloch, and peats from 
his peatry called Monegie, with some lands adjacent to Monegie, with common of pas- 

* The family burying-ground is in the church-yard of Collessie, and on one of the walls is the follow- 
ing inscription, now much obliterated, which, from the date, appears to have been set up before the 
death of Sir James. 


Ye ■ loadin • pilgrims • passing ■ langs ■ this ■ way, Defyle ■ not ■ Christ's ■ kirk ■ with • your • c.irion • 

Paus ■ on • your ■ fall, • and ■ your ■ offences ■ past ■ A ■ solemn ■ sait ■ for ■ God's • service • prepar'd • 

Hou • your ■ frail • flesh, • first ■ formit • of ■ the • clay ■ For ■ praier, • preaching ■ and • communion ■ 

In • dust • mon • be ■ dissolvit ■ at ■ the ■ last ■ Your • byrial ■ should ■ be • in ■ the ■ kirk ■ yard • 

Repent • amend ■ on • Christ ■ the • burden • cast • On ■ your • uprysing ■ set ■ your ■ great ■ regard ■ 

Of ■ your • sad • shines • who • can ■ your • savls ■ re- When ■ savll • and • body ■ joynes ■ with • joy • to • 

fresh • ring ■ 

Syne ■ raise ■ from ■ grave • to • gloir ■ your ■ grislie • In ■ Heaven • for • ay ■ with ■ Christ • our • head ■ 

flesh • and ■ king • 


turage on his moor of Kindeloch.* This common was divided among the several pro- 
prietors having a right in it, about forty years since, by Adam Rolland, Esq., Advo- 
cate, who was appointed arbiter for the purpose. 

At the eastern extremity of the parish is Nether Rankeilour, which formed part of 
the property of Rankeilour, anciently belonging to a family of the same name. In 1517, 
" Johan Rankeilor de eodem" was one of the jury who settled a valuation of the county of 
Fife, in a court held at Cupar, by Patrick, lord Lindsay of the Byres, and Sir John 
Lindsay of Pitcruvie, knight, Sheriff Deputes of the county. Nether Rankeilour was 
afterwards purchased by Sir James Makgill, eldest son of Sir James Makgill, provost 
of Edinburgh, in the reign of James V., and descended from a family of the same 
name in Galloway. Sir James Makgill of Nether Rankeilour was educated at Edin- 
burgh, and bred to the law. On the 1st March, 1549, the Court of Session elected 
nine advocates " as maist discreit and qualifyit personis of gude conscience, and 
undirstanding to procure befoir thame in all acciones and caussis." " Maister James 
M'Gill" stands second on this list. In June, 1554, he was appointed clerk register; 
and on the 20th of August thereafter he took his seat on the bench as lord Rankeilour. 
He was repeatedly employed in settling disputes on the borders, and in 1559 was one 
of the commissioners who concluded the treaty of Upsettlington. He joined the 
reformers that year, and was in familiar friendship with Knox. After the return of 
Mary from France, he was sworn of her council in 1561 ; and was one of those to 
whom the modification of the stipends for the reformed clergy were entrusted. In 
1563, he was one of a parliamentary commission appointed for visiting the 
universities. When Murray and his friends broke out in rebellion, in 1565, Sir James 
remained true to his duty ; but he was implicated in the murder of Rizzio, was deprived 
of his office of clerk register, and forced to fly from Edinburgh, and conceal himself 
in the highlands. He was soon afterwards, however, pardoned, but ordered to confine 
himself north of the Tay. By the favour of the regent Murray he was restored to his 
office in December, 1567 ; and was one of the commissioners who attended him at 
York in 156S. In 1571 and 1572 he was employed as ambassador at the court of 
Elizabeth. He appears to have suffered considerably in the civil war which raged in 
Scotland at this time, as in May, 1571, " thre cofferis of Mr James M'Gillis going out 
of Leyth to Pinkie, estemed worth 1000 lib.," were taken by the queen's partisans; 
and in the following year his house in Edinburgh was pulled down by the same party 
and sold for firewood. He died in 15~9.t 

David Makgill, of Nisbet and Cranstonriddel, the younger brother of Sir James of 

* Chart. Lindores, 19. Sibbald says he had found a confirmation by Robert I. of a charter by carl 
Roger to these Monks, " De ducentis carratis bruere in mora sua de Kindeloch annuatim ; ct de tot 
petis de peteria de Monegie quot voluerint. Cum acra terre, et messuagio, et pastura decern ovium, 
ct duarum vaccarum ad opus custodis petarum ct bruerarum." 

1 History of the Senators of the College of Justice, p. 99. 


Nether Rankeilour, was the grandfather of Sir James Makgill of Cranstonriddel, who 
was created viscount of Oxford, and lord Makgill of Cousland, by patent dated 19th 
April, 1661, to him, and his heirs male of entail and provision whatsoever. Robert, 
second viscount Oxford, died in 1706, without leaving male issue ; and in 1731, James 
Makgill of Nether Rankeilour, the sixth in descent from Sir James, claimed the title. 
His claim was referred to the lords' committee of privileges, but was by them refused 
on the ground that although he had proved his being heir male, whatsoever, he did 
not possess the other requisites in the patent, that of heir of entail and of provision. 
The title, therefore, has remained dormant since the death of the second viscount.* 
James Makgill, the claimant, having died without issue, he was succeeded in Nether 
Rankeilour, and his other estates, by Isabella Makgill, his sister, who, upon the lSth 
Dec. 1724, married the Rev. Wm Dick, one of the ministers of Cupar. Their daughter, 
Margaret, heiress of Nether Rankeilour and Lindores, married the honourable Fred- 
erick Lewis Maitland, sixth son of Charles, sixth earl of Lauderdale, and a captain in 
the royal navy. He commanded the Lively, of 20 guns and 100 men on the Jamaica 
station, in October, 1760, when he took the Valeur of equal force; and in 1778, he 
commanded a line-of-battle ship in admiral Keppel's engagement with D'Orvilliers. 
Their eldest son, Charles Maitland had a troop in the 17th light dragoons, and was 
aid-de-camp to his cousin the brave major-general Thomas Dundas, in the West 
Indies, in 1794.+ He afterwards rose to the rank of colonel in the army. David Mait- 
land Makgill, Esq., his eldest surviving son, is now proprietor of Rankeilour.]: 

* Douglas Peerage, vol. II. p. 347. f Ibid. vol. II. p. 74. 

X South of Nether Rankeilour is Ballomill, in reference to which the Rev. Mr M'Farlane, in his 
account of the parish, (New Statistical Account, Fifeshire, p. 29.) gives the following amusing anec- 
dote ; but we should think the tale is much more likely to have a reference to the fourth or fifth 
James, than to the learned son of Mary. " From its proximity to Falkland, the frequent residence 
of James VI. this parish is recorded to have been the scene of some of the eccentric feats and munifi- 
cent acts of that facetious prince. The following is one of the most authentic. It is related that in 
the disguise which he often assumed, of a poor travelling man, he knocked one evening at the door of 
the miller's house of Ballomill. After some little difficulty he obtained quarters for the night. He 
joined the circle round the miller's fireside, and partook of their social glee, as well as of their homely 
cheer. The miller's frank and honest bearing gained upon the good opinion of the king, his hospitality 
and kindness increasing as he become more intimate with the stranger. In the morning, accompanying 
his unknown guest in familiar converse to the extremity of the farm, they were met, according to previous 
appointment, by the royal guards. The miller then saw with astonishment that he had had the honour 
of entertaining the king. At parting, to reward his hospitality and at the same time to try his know- 
ledge of fractions, his majesty asked the miller whether he would have the fourth part, or the eighth 
part, or the sixteenth part of t lie lands on which they stood. The miller pondered a little on a question 
so important, and said to himself, " to ask the saxteenth part wou'd be o'er greedy, to ask the fourth 
part, wou'd be cheatin myscll, I'll e'en strike between the twa, and ask the aught." In consequence 
of this decision the eighth part of the lands of Ballomill was measured off to him, which long remained 



III. The parish church is situated at the village of Collessie, but from its being so near 
the northern boundary of the parish is rather inconveniently placed for those residing to 
the south. It is old, and of an inconvenient form, being long and narrow, with the pulpit 
in the middle, and galleries at each end. Some of the old seats are dated so far back 
as the fifteenth century. The floor is several feet below the level of the surrounding 
ground, which renders it cold and damp ; and it is much too small for the amount 
of the population.* The manse is large and comfortable, and the offices are good. 
The stipend is fifteen chalders of grain, half meal, half barley, a small sum for vicarage 
and grass money, and the usual allowance for communion elements. The glebe is of 
the legal size, and the lands of good quality. The present incumbent is the Rev. John 
Macfarlane. William Johnston, Esq. of Lathrisk is patron. t The church is well 
attended, and there are 135 male heads of families on the parochial roll. The com- 
municants are about 330. There is no dissenting chapel in the parish, but there are 
about 80 families of dissenters, who attend different chapols in the adjoining parishes.! 

The parish school is attended upon an average by about 65 scholars, who are taught 
the usual branches of education. The teacher has the maximum salary, with a good 
house and garden. The fees may altogether amount to about £23 sterling, and there 
is in addition about £5 per annum derived from other sources. There is a female 
school near the village, which is accommodated in a neat building in the cottage style, 
erected at the expense of the earl of Leven and Melville, and partly endowed by him. 
This school is attended by about 50 girls, and a few boys under six years of age. There 
is a third school at Monkston, which is attended by about 25 scholars, but is unen- 
dowed, the teacher being entirely dependent on the school fees. There are three well 
attended sabbath evening schools taught in the parish, at Collessie, Rankeilour, and 
Monkston. § The parish also possesses a parochial adult and juvenile library, which 
contains about 370 well selected volumes. 

The number of poor upon the roll is eleven; but there are others who receive oc- 
casional assistance. The highest allowance made is 10s. per month, the lowest, 4s. 
There is no fund for their support, but the collections at the church door, with con- 
tributions from non-resident heritors, have hitherto been found sufficient for the 
purpose. The average sum collected yearly is about £53 sterling. This includes 
what is collected upon the sacramental occasions twice each year, and which is usually 

in the miller's family. The description in the title deeds still runs ' All and whole the one eighth part 
of the lauds of Ballomill.' The royal charter by which it is conveyed is still preserved in the parish.'' 

* We are happy to be able to say, however, that a new church is about to be erected, as soon as 
the necessary forms with the presbytery have been gone through. It is intended to be a cross church 
in the Gothic or pointed style. 

t The celebrated Dr Hugh Blair commenced his ministry in this parish, to the pastoral charge of 
which he was ordained on the 23d September, 1742. 

J Statistical Account, p. 35 § Ibid. 


set apart for the relief of necessitous persons not on the regular roll ; and a collection 
made at the new year, from which the kirk session have been enabled to distribute 
about thirty cart loads of coals annually. Besides these, collections are also made at 
the church door for religious purposes, which may amount to from £12 to £13 sterling 
yearly. This is generally appropriated to th.2 support of institutions connected with 
the established church of Scotland. 

IV. The population of this parish as reported to Dr Webster in 17.35, was 989; 
but in 1791, it had decreased to 949, which was occasioned, we are told, in the first 
Statistical Account, by the enlarging of the farms, and the consequent demolition of 
cottages. In 1801, it had from the same cause decreased to 930. Since that period, 
however, owing to the building of the villages already mentioned, and weavers taking 
up their residence in the parish, the population has steadily though slowly encreased. 
In 1811, the population was 934; in 1821, 1030; and in 183 1, 1162. The following 
is the analysis of the return to government in 1S31 : — 

Males 20 years of age, 271 ; total males; 559 ; females, 603 ; total, 1 1G2. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 73 ; ditto, in trade, manufactures, and handicraft, 10 4; 
all other families not comprised in the preceding, 70 ; total families, 247. 

Persons occupying land employing labourers, 17 ; ditto, not. employing labourers, 21 ; labourers em- 
ployed in agriculture, 07 ; total males employed in agriculture, 105. 

Persons employed in manufacture, 79. 

Do. do. in retail trade or in handicraft, as masters or workmen, 44. 

Capitalists, professional, and other educated men, 4. 

Labourers not employed in agriculture, 28. 

Other males 20 years of age, (except servants) 7. 

Male servants 20 years of age, 4 ; female servants, 47. 

Inhabited houses, 212; building, 2 ; uninhabited, 4. 

For seven years previous to 1S36, the yearly average of births was IS, of deaths 14, 
of marriages 9. Upwards of 100 families live in the villages, and the rest in the 
country part of the parish. 

V. In the northern and north-western parts of the parish the soil is of a good deep 
sharp quality, lying principally on a whinstone bottom ; and from its position on the 
slopiii of the hills which form the boundary to the north, it has a warm southern 
exposure. It is highly cultivated and produces early and excellent crops. This tract 
includes about 1560 Scotch acres. In the southern and eastern parts of the parish 
there are various tracts of land which are not inferior either in soil or cultivation. 
Towards the centre and southern portion of the parish, however, the soil becomes 
mostly light and sandy ; and, as already mentioned, is to a great extent chiefly occupied 
by plantations of fir. The wood is of considerable value, and besides being applied to 
making fences, and roofing, and flooring, in the neighbourhood, large quantities of it 


are shipped from the port of Newburgh to Newcastle and other ports in England, for 
planks and coal props. When full grown it brings from £40 to £50 per Scots acre, 
and when half grown about £20 Sterling.* 

There are about 5000 imperial acres in cultivation or occasional tillage; about 1237 
in wood ; and about from 200 to 300 imperial acres of marshes and barren land lying 
continually wast :, which might for the most part be improved for pasture or planted 
with advantage. The system of husbandry is the same as that pursued in the neigh- 
bouring parishes. The duration of leases, and the wages of servants are the same. 
The farm steadings are in general good and commodious ; and the fields have the 
advantage of being for the most part well inclosed with stone dykes or thorn hedges. 
The breed of cattle, which was originally the Fifeshire, is here as elsewhere in the 
county, much crossed with other breeds, chiefly with the Teeswater, and the Angus 
polled breeds. Sheep husbandry has been introduced in this parish, with great 
advantage, f 

The average gross amount and value of raw produce yearly raised in the parish, 
may be estimated nearly as follows : — f 

Grain, 9000 quarters, ... ....... L. 13,500 

Potatoes, turnips, &c, G000 tons, 5,030 

Hay, 1550 tons, 3,875 

Dressed Flax, 4 or 5 tons, ......... 150 

Land in pasture, 9000 or 10,000 acres, of various qualities, and some wood pasture, 
at L.3 per cow or full grown ox, grazed, and 7s. per ewe or full grown sheep, 

pastured, ............ 1,800 

Gardens, ............ 120 

Thinnings of plantations, ........ . 300 


The rent of arable land in the parish varies according to its quality from 10s. to 
£2 10s. per Scots acre; but the rents are now generally fixed to be paid partly in 
money, and partly in grain, at the fiar prices of the county. The annual value of real 
property assessed in the parish for the property tax in 1815, was £6490 Sterling. 
The valued rent of the parish is £5S15 Scots. 

A society for the encouragement of agriculture, has for some years existed in the 
parish, under the name of the Trafalgar Agricultural Society. Its annual meeting for 
the show of cattle, and farm produce is held on the 21st of October, the anniversary 
of the great naval victory from which it derives its name. At first premiums were 
given to those who were successful in the various competitions ; but, latterly, the plan 
of sweepstakes have been introduced, which gives greater scope to those desirous of 

* Xew Statistical Account, Fifeshire, p. 21. t Ibid. p. 31, 32. 

t Ibid. p. 34. 


competing in any object which might not probably meet the views of the society in 
awarding premiums. The society has been very useful, and is well supported by the 
neighbouring landlords and tenantry. 

^ I. There are, as appears from the analysis of the population return already given, 
upwards of 100 families supported by handloom weaving; but there are no manufac- 
turers having capital employed in business, nor is there any public work in the parish. 
The weavers are employed wholly by manufacturers in Glasgow, Dundee, and Aber- 
deen, who transmit their yarns to agents in the parish, by whom the weavers are sup- 
plied. Many females are employed upon the loom, particularly during the time field 
labour cannot be obtained. 

Very excellent whin or greenstone has been opened up in the parish, which is much 
used for building ; also sandstone, on the estate of Rankeilour, though it is not used 
to any great extent. Great quantities of marl too, both shell and clay are found here. 
It was formerly much used, and some of it even shipped to the Carse of Gowrie. The 
late Charles Maitland, Esq., worked marl on his property of Pitlair, to the extent of 
83,010 bolls fine, and 2S,721 bolls black. This he used extensively himself, and sold 
to the surrounding proprietors to the value of upwards of £1400 Sterling. The marl, 
however, is now little in request, except for top dressing and forming compounds for 

VII. This parish exhibits a few antiquities, which obviously belong to the ancient 
Horestii, or the Celtic Picts, their descendants. A short distance south of the vil- 
lage of Collessie, there is a tumulus or cairn of stones, rising about 12 feet above the 
level of the surrounding ground; and which was no doubt raised over the place of 
sepulture of some of the former inhabitants of the district, who had fallen in battle, 
either with some of their neighbours or with the Romans at the time of their invasion 
of Fife under Agricola. On opening this tumulus some years ago, cistveans composed 
of large flat stones, were found enclosing human bones, and a sword much corroded, 
about 18 inches long, with one edge, adapted either for cutting or thrusting. This 
tumulus is usually called Gaskhill ; and is vulgarly believed to have been a Roman 
station, although its having been a place of sepulture is so abundantly obvious. About 
a quarter of a mile east of the village, and within tlie grounds of Melville, is one of 
those memorial stones, which appear to have been erected in various places to mark 
either the site of a battle or the fall of some hero. It is a block of whinstone, is still 
upwards of nine feet above the surface of the ground, and is about six feet in circum- 
ference. It is coeval, and in all probability connected with the tumulus. 

Near the inn of Trafalgar, and at about equal distances from it to the east and west, 
are two spots of ground which tradition points out as having been ancient forts, or 
places of strength. That to the east is a small eminence, which had at one time been 
surrounded with a ditch or moat, and was situate amidst a marsh or morass, now 
drained. Many relics of antiquity have here been found, and among others a quern 


or handmill of mica slate, a mineral which we believe is not found in Fife. A number 
of coins of Edward I. of England, have also been turned up here by the plough; but 
these can have no reference to the times when the fort was used as a place of strength. 
The fort to the west of the inn is called Maiden Castle ; a name which we often find 
applied to ancient British or Pictish forts. The origin of this name has, in all instances 
where it has been applied, been traced by tradition to one source, that it had at one 
time or other been defended during a siege by some young female ; and here accord- 
ingly it is said," that during a siege the governor died, and that his daughter, conceal- 
ing the event, gave the necessary orders in his name, and that the castle thus defended 
held out till the enemy was obliged to retire." Mr Chalmers, 1 however, when speak- 
ing of this name as applied to Edinburgh Castle, says that it is merely the British Mai- 
din, or the Gaelic Magh-dun, signifying the "fort in the plain," vulgarised into the 
Saxon maiden ; and that the Saxon word "castle" has been pleonastically added in 
comparatively modern times to the original appellation. Mai-din, or the fort in the 
plain, is peculiarly applicable to this ancient place of strength to the west of the inn at 
Trafalgar. A clump of trees, planted by Mr Thomson the late proprietor, marks 
where it was situated. It is now the property of James Bogie, Esq. 

In the adjoining fields, and particularly in those intervening between these two places 
of strength, many sepulchral antiquities have been found, thus pointing out the 
localities as the scene of ancient warfare. Cistvaens or stone coffins, and urns con- 
taining human bones, have been from time to time dug up ; and one of these, an an- 
cient British urn, is still to be seen at Kinloch. It is made of a bluish coloured clay, 
is about 18 inches in height, and about 15 inches in diameter at its widest part. It 
was found at the depth of about a foot below the surface, in an inverted position, rest- 
ing on a flat slab of stone, and contained a quantity of human bones partially burnt. 

* Caledonia, vol. II. pp. 555, 55G. 



I This parish occupies a portion of the central valley of the county, immediately west 
of the parish of Cupar, and north of Coliessie. It forms an irregular ellipse, the ex- 
treme length of which from east to west is four miles and three quarters, and the ex- 
treme breadth from north to south scarcely four miles. It is bounded on the south by 
the parishes of Coliessie and Cults, on the east by Cupar, on the north by Cupar 
Moonzie, Creich and Dunbog, and on the west by Abdie and Coliessie. The surface 
of the parish is naturally beautiful in its outline, presenting towards the north a fine 
range of hills, of which the Mount/Hill is the highest, while the southern portion is 
generally more level, and diversified by soft and gentle undulations. The many gen- 
tlemen's seats, however, in the parish, and the extensive wooded parks with which 
they are surrounded, have increased its natural beauty in a high degree ; and whether 
we wander under the shade of its "old patrician trees," and examine its scenery in 
detail, or view it from any of the neighbouring heights, we are equally delighted. 

The parish contains ten miles nine yards of turnpike roads, and seven miles 560 
yards of statute labour roads, all kept in the very best condition. Cupar is the post, 
and nearest market town ; it is distant about five and a half miles from the parish 
church. There are three villages in the parish, the largest of which is Letham, which 
contains a population of about 440. Here a considerable fair used to be held in the 
first week of June ; but as a market it has almost altogether disappeared. It is still 
kept by the villagers and the younger portion of the surrounding population as a day 
of amusement : a procession usually takes place, and the keepers of stalls for the sale 
of toys and sweetmeats, continue their attendance. The other two villages are Moni- 
mail situated near the church, containing a population of 80, and Easter Fernie 
containing 60 inhabitants. There are three inns or public houses in the parish. The 
name of the parish is in all probability derived from Mbnadh, a muir, and Meal, a 
round-shaped hill: Mbnadh- Meal, the muir of the round-shaped hill. It is no doubt 
characteristic of what the locality once was, although the muir would now be rather 
difficult to find. 

II. The principal heritors are the right honourable the Earl of Leven and Melville, 
George W. Hope, Esq. of Upper Rankeilour, Francis Balfour, Esq. of Fernie, George 
Paterson, Esq. of Cunoquhie, Major General Thomas Webster of Balgarvic, 
H. E. I. C. S., and David Maitland Makgill, Esq. of Nether Rankeilour. The whole 
of these, with the exception of the last, have mansion-houses in the parish, but Mr Hope 
and Mr Balfour are non-resident. Besides those enumerated, there are four other 
proprietors of land, above the yearly value of £50 on the roll of heritors. 


Balgarvie,* the residence of Major General Webster is at the eastern extremity of 
the parish. It is a plain commodious modern house, with a southern exposure, and 
surrounded with grounds well laid out. It in old times belonged to a branch of the 
family of Balfour, from whom were descended the Lords Balfour of Burleigh. " It is 
said," says Sir Robert Sibbald, "that there was here a strong castle, which was taken 
and levelled, by Sir John Pettsworth as he was marching with the English forces 
to the siege of the castle of Cupar in the reign of king Robert I." Of this castle, 
if there ever was one here, not a vestige now remains. Sir John Balfour who is de- 
signed of Balgarvie, had a grant of the lands of Burleigh, which were erected into a 
free barony in his favour, by James II. in the 9th year of his reign (1445-6). His 
grandson Sir Michael Balfour designed of Burleigh, had a charter of the lands of easter 
and wester Balgarvie on the 16th February 1505-6. Alexander Balfour, third son of 
Margaret Balfour great grand-daughter of the above Sir Michael, and of Sir James Bal- 
four of Monquhany her husband, of whom an account has already been givent, appears 
to have received Balgarvie as his patrimony. At the close of the seventeenth century 
it was purchased by George fourth Lord Melville; and became the patrimony of the 
honourable James Melville his third son. When Sibbald wrote it was the property of 
George Melville, Esq. his son, and when Dr Adamson published his edition in 1S04, it 
belonged to James Robertson, Esq.j 

South-west of Balgarvie is Uthrogal which at one time appears to have belonged to 
the Earls of Fife and afterwards to the Clephanes of Carslogie, Sibbald having seen a 
charter confirming these lands by Duncan Earl of Fife to John de Clephane in the be- 
ginning of the reign of Robert Bruce. There appears to have formerly been an hospital 
here for the reception of persons afflicted with leprosy. Uthrogal with the lands of Hos- 
pital mill in the adjoining parish of Cults was given by Mary of Gueldres the widow of 
James II. to the Trinity College at Edinburgh which was founded by her. On the 
suppression of religious houses, it became the property of the town of Edinburgh ; and 
now belongs to the Earl of Leven. Some short time ago, a stone coffin containing 
two human skeletons was found here, in trenching a piece of ground. 

West of Uthrogal is Over or Upper Rankeilour, one of the seats of George W. 
Hope, Esq. The house is very elegant, and w T as built by the late General John fourth 
Earl of Hopetoun ; the grounds are magnificently wooded, many of the trees being of 
great size and beauty. The inclosures and planting, says Sibbald^ were "all done by 
Sir Archibald Hope, (a son of Sir John Hope of Craighall,) a lord of session and of 
the justiciary, father of Mr Thomas Hope the present heritor of it." Upper Rankei- 
lour originally formed a portion of the property of the family of Rankeilour of that ilk ;|| 
but at an early period it became the property of a branch of the Sibbalds of Balgony. 

* From the Celtic Bal-garlh, the rough town or dwelling. 
t Supra, p. 59. t Sibbald, p. 396. § Ibid. p. 393. || Supra, p. 104. 


Sir Robert Sibbald* says he had seen the autograph of a charter by King James V. 
dated at Falkland the last day of September, " anno regni nostri vigesimo septimo," 
confirming a charter of alienation made by Jacobus Sibbauld de Rankeilour — over to 
Alexander Sibbauld his brother german, and his heirs of the third parts of the lands 
of Pitcullo lying within the county of Fife. Rankeilour remained the property of this 
branch of the family of Sibbald, till the reign of Charles II., when it became the pro- 
perty of the above Sir Archibald Hope.t He was the grandson of the famed Sir Thomas 

* Sibbald, p. GO:!. 

f David Sibbald, the third brother of Sir James Sibbald, bart, of Rankeilour, was keeper of the 
great seal of Scotland, under the Earl of Kinnoul, who was appointed lord high chancellor in 1622. 
He was father of the celebrated Sir Robert Sibbald, knight, M. I)., author of the history of Fife, and 
of various other valuable works. Sir Robert was born in 1641, and began to learn latin in the burgh 
school of Cupar, in 1650. Next year his parents removed with him to Dundee, where they unfor- 
tunately were at the time the town was taken by the English by storm. During this memorable 
siege Sir Robert had a very narrow escape for his life ; and his father was severely wounded. They 
were robbed of every thing they possessed by the soldiery, and had to walk to Cupar from inability 
to pay tor any mode of conveyance. Sir Robert now became a student in Edinburgh college, where 
he remained for five years, after which, in March 1660, he went to Holland, and remained for a 
year and a half at Leydcn, studying anatomy and surgery, and the other necessary sciences. On 
leaving Leyden he went to Paris where he remained nine months pursuing his studies with great 
assiduity, when after visiting various places in France, he came over to London, whence he returned 
to Edinburgh in October, 1662. He now commenced the practice of medicine, and continued at the 
same to study various branches of science and literature. Some years after he and a Dr Balfour, who 
had been long in Fiance, formed the design of instituting a botanic garden in Edinburgh; and for 
this purpose procured an enclosure in the abbey yards, which they were very soon enabled to stock 
with a collection of 800 or 900 plants. Other physicians in Edinburgh now joined them, and sub- 
scriptions were raised for the support of the garden. About 1679 Sir Robert, who had already been 
making collections for an accurate geographical account of flic kingdom, received from Charles II. 
his [latent to be his geographer for Scotland, and another to be his physician there ; with his majes- 
ty's commands to publish " the natural history of the country, and the geographical description of the 
kingdom." "This,'' says Sir Robert, in his autobiography " was the cause of great pains, and very 
much to me, in buying all the books and MSS. I could get for that use, and procuring information 
from all parts of the country, even the most remote isles. I employed John Adair for surveying, and 
did bestow much upon him, and paid a guinea for each double of the maps he made. He got much 
money from the gentry, and an allowance from the public for it; but notwithstanding the matter 
was recommended by a commitce of the counsel, and my pains and progress in the work represented, 
yet I obtained nothing, except a patent for one hundred pounds sterling of salary, from king James 
VII., as his physician. 1 got only one year's payment." Notwithstanding this discouragement, Sir 
Robert proceeded in his exertions, and in 1682, he published an advertisement with queries which 
was distributed over the whole kingdom. In loS3, he published in Latin, and in English, an account 
of the projected work, what had been effected, and what required yet (■■> be done, with proposals for 
printing it. Shortly before this lime he had proposed, and was the principal instrument in the in- 




Hope of Craighall, and adopted the profession in which so many of this family have 
become eminent. He was admitted an advocate 30th June, 1664; and from Foun- 
tainhall* we learn that he was a favourer of the covenanting party, having in the elec- 
tion of commissioners to parliament for the county of Fife, voted against the Duke of 
York and the court party. In consequence of the suspicion against him thus created, 
he was in 1681 cited before the secret council for being absent from the king's host at 
Bothwell bridge. Against this charge he proposed his privileges as an advocate, and 
stated that he had sent a man and horse in his place. The council repelled his de- 
fence, and thus out of pique the privileges of an advocate were in his person on this 
occasion subverted and overthrown. They remitted, however, to a committee to con- 
sider how far his sending a horseman should alleviate; and the faculty of advocates ap- 
pointed a committee of their body to wait upon the lords and his majesty's advocate to 
get the libel delayed, until it was considered what defence was fit to be offered to the 
council in name of the advocates. At the revolution, Sir Archibald Hope was appointed 
lord of session, and in January 1679, he took his seat on the bench as lord Rankeilour. 
In January 1690, he was appointed a lord of justiciary, and about the same time had 
the honour of knighthood conferred upon him by king William. He acquitted him- 
self in every station in life with great integrity and honour.! 

stitution of the college of physicians for incorporating, which a royal patent was procured ; and in 
16S2, he was knighted by the duke of York. In 1684, his " Scotia illustratu" was published, seventy 
copies of which he says lie gave away in presents. In 1685, Sir Robert, as he himself from conviction 
of its foundation in truth, embraced the Roman catholic religion, and had in consequence been very 
nearly assassinated by a mob who surrounded the house in which he resided, broke into it, while lie with 
difficulty escaped by the yard behind. They forced their way into his room, searched his bed, and 
at length went away after having sworn that they would "Rathellet" him. After this he went for a 
time to London, where the conduct of the Jesuits with whom he came in contact, and the evil influence 
they exercised over the mind of the king so struck him, that as he says, " I repented of my rashness, 
and resolved to come home, and return to the church I was born in." He accordingly immediately 
put his prudent resolution into effect, and in 16S3, he was appointed by the magistrates of Edinburgh 
professor of medicine in that university. From this time till 1712, scarce a year passed without 
some work proceeding from his pen, in many of which works, he exhibited deep antiquarian research, 
extensive observation, and judicious inquiry into the actual state of Scotland. Ilis work on Roman 
Antiquities in Scotland, appeared in 1707: his history of the Shires of Stirling and Linlithgow in 1710 ; 
and four separate works on Roman Antiquities, and a description of the Orkney islands in 1711. Two 
editions of his history of Fife appeared during his lifetime, the most correct of which is that of 1710. 
The period of Sir Robert's death is not known, but in 1722, a catalogue was printed at Edinburgh, 
of "the library of the late learned and ingenious Sir Robert Sibbald of Kipps, doctor of medicine," 
which were to be sold by auction. It seems probable he had died not long previously. Much of 
his MSS., and many of the printed books were bought by the faculty of advocates for their library. 

* Vol. I. p. :-■ . 
t Senators of the College of Justice, p. 146. Mr Thomas Hope of Rankeilour, the eldest son of 
Sir Archibald, was admitted a member of the faculty of advocates in 1701. He appears to have 


The late earl of Hopetoun, who was afterwards proprietor of Rankeilour, and, as we 
have mentioned, built the present house, was born in August 17t>5, and in ITS 1 had a 
cornetcy in the 10th regiment of dragoons; in 178G, was appointed lieutenant in the 
27th regiment of foot; captain in the 17th dragoons in 1789; major of the 1st or royal 
Scots in 1792; and lieutenant colonel of the 25th foot in 1793. He was afterwards 
colonel of the North Lowland fencible regiment, colonel commandant of the (JOth regi- 
ment of foot, and was appointed colonel of the 92d foot in 180(5. He had the rank of 
major-general in the army in 1802, of lieutenant-general in 1803; and subsequently 
the rank of general. He was appointed adjutant-general to the forces serving under 
Sir Ralph Abercromby in the Leeward islands in 1794; had the rank of brigadier- 
paid great attention lo die theory and practice of agriculture, and had studied it both in Great 
Britain and in foreign countries. It was chiefly through his exertions that an agricultural society was 
formed at Edinburgh in 1723, to which belonged a great number of nobility and gentry throughout 
Scotland. This society, which was styled " The Society for Improving in the Knowledge of Agri- 
culture," held its first meeting on the 13th day of July, 1723, and had the merit certainly of beino- 
the first agricultural society instituted in the United Kingdom. It consisted of upwards of 300 
members, but it only continued for ;>bout 20 years. Mr Maxwel of Arkland, an eminent Scottish 
improver, published a selection from their transactions in 1743, shortly after the dissolution of the 
society. We have seen two volumes of the original minutes and transactions of the society, in the 
possession of Thomas Horsbrugh, excise sheriff clerk of the county, which were presented to him by 
the Earl of Crawford. They extend from the first meeting of the society till 10th February, 1739; 
and during the whole of that period Air Hope appears as an active and intelligent member, and to have 
been continued as president of all its meetings. This society appears to have made extensive 
inquiries into the practice of agriculture in other countries, and to have obtained models of foreign 
instruments of agriculture, which they placed in the hands of a skilful mechanic, that he might supply 
all who wished them with copies. They encouraged the trial of every suggested improvement in 
the practice of the art, and of all improved implements which were presented to them, when these 
appeared worthy of being attended to. They read essays on various parts of husbandry, and ap- 
pointed committees for the purpose of answering queries which were put to them by individual mcin- 
r others, as to the best mode of bringing into profitable cultivation particular portions of ground 
of which a description was given. These answers are all inserted in the minutes, and are marked by 
great good sense and extensive knowledge for the period. Mr Hope, in furtherance of the objects of 
the society, visited England, and afterwards Holland and Flanders, in 1737; and his letters giving 

inu nt of what he had seen, are inserted in the minute-book. He appears to have ol 
accurately, and to have reasoned judiciously on what he saw. The earliest notice of a thrashing 
machine in Scotland is in the transactions of this society. It was invented by Mr Michael Alenzies, 
advocate, for which he received ;i patent; and was examined by a committee of the society, and 
recommended by them to all gentlemen and farmers as a great improvement. The society also 
exerted themselves to improve the linen manufacture, the fisheries, and distillation of spirits, as 
well as to introduce woollen manufactures, Besides Mr Hope, there were about twenty noblemen 
an 1 gentlemen connected with Fife, members of the society. Mr Hope, in 1766, succeeded his 
cousin, Sir John Bruce Hope of Kinross, in the title of Baronet, and died in 1771. 


general in the West Indies; was actively employed in the campaigns of 1704, 179.3, 
1796, and 1797 ; and was specially noticed in the public dispatches of the commander- 
in-chief, particularly as having "on all occasions, most willingly come forward, and 
exerted himself in hours of danger, to which he was not called from his situation. He 
accompanied the British troops to Holland in 1799, as deputy adjutant-general; but 
was so severely wounded at the landing at the Helder as to render it necessary for 
him to return home. On his recovery he was appointed adjutant-general to the army 
serving under his royal highness the duke of York, in October, 1799. 

In 1800, he accompanied Sir Ralph Abercromby as adjutant-general, with the rank 
of brigadier-general in the Mediterranean, on the memorable expedition to Eirypt ; and 
at the battle of Alexandria, 21st March 1801, he was wounded in the hand, and the 
army for a time was "deprived of the services of an active, zealous, and judicious ofri- 
cer." He afterwards proceeded with the army to Cairo, where in June 1801, after a 
negotiation of several days, which he conducted " with much judgment and ability," he 
settled with general Belliard, the convention for the surrender of that place. He was 
in June 1805, appointed deputy-governor of Portsmouth; and the same year had a 
command in the troops sent to the continent under lord Cathcart. He was second in 
command in the expedition to the Baltic under Sir John Moore, in May 1S08; and 
accompanied the British forces to Portugal, where he landed in August 1S0S. At the 
battle of Corunna, 16th January 1S09, in consequence of the death of Sir John Moore, 
and the wounds of Sir David Baird, the command devolved on lieutenant-general 
Hope, " to whose ability and exertions in the direction of the ardent zeal and uncon- 
querable valour of his majesty's troops, is to be attributed, under providence, the suc- 
cess of the day, which terminated in the complete and entire repulse and defeat of the 
enemy at every point of attack." As a testimony of the approbation of his sovereign 
for the important service he had performed, he was invested with the Order of the 
Bath in April, 1809. 

He was afterwards appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in Ireland, from 
whence he was called in 1813, to share the glories of the Peninsular war, and distin- 
guished himself in the battles of Bayonne, Bourdeaux, and Tolouse. For his various 
services he was in May 1811 created a peer of the united kingdom, under the title of 
baron Niddry in the county of Linlithgow; and he succeeded his brother the third earl of 
Hopetoun in that title, in 1816. He died on the 16th of August, 1823; and as a mark 
of the respect in which his public services were held in the county of Fife with which 
he had been so long connected, a monumental pillar has been erected to his memory 
on the summit of the Mount hill, the highest point in this parish. It is a plain Doric 
column, of elegant proportions, upwards of 100 feet in height. It is hollow within, 
and there is a narrow spiral staircase by which there is an ascent to the top, from 
whence a fine view of the surrounding country is obtained. Immediately above the 
entrance is the following inscription : " To perpetuate the memory of John, fouith earl 


of Hopetoun, who died 16th August 1823, this memorial is erected by the inhabitants 
of Fife, MDCCCXXVI." As a farther mark of the esteem in which this eminent noble- 
man was held by the gentlemen of Fife, it will be recollected, that in our notice of Cupar 
we mentioned, that a splendid portrait of his lordship, executed by Raeburn, adornsThe 
walls of the county hall.* 

Upon his accession to the earldom in 1S16, his lordship was succeeded in the estate 
of Rankeilour by his brother the honourable Charles Hope of Waughton, who enter- 
ing the army in 17S5, was in 1799, appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 7th Dragoon 
Guards. He served on the continent under the duke of York, in 1794, and obtained 
the rank of major-general in the army in 1S05. He was chosen member of parlia- 
ment for Kinghorn, &c, at the general election 1790, and for the county of Hadding- 
ton 1S00, 1802, 1306, and 1807. Oil his death he was succeeded by his brother the 
honourable Sir Alexander Hope, K.G.C. who also entered the army at an early age. 
He received his first commission in 1786, and was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 
14th Foot in 1794, and served with them on the continent that year. He was dan- 
gerously wounded in the action at Buren in Holland, betwixt the British, under lord 
Cathcart, and the French, 8th January, 1795. In 1797, he was appointed governor 
of Tynemouth and Clifford's Fort, 21st March, 1 797 ; lieutenant-governor of Edin- 
burgh Castle, 1798; and was deputy-adjutant-general to the forces under the duke of 
York, in 1799. He was appointed a major-general in the army in May, 1808; and 
in 1809, received the command of the 74th Regiment of Foot. In 1813, he was 
deputy-quarter-master-general to the army, and inspector of army clothing. He sub- 
sequently received the rank of lieutenant-general in the army, had the honour of a 
Knight-grand-cross of the Bath conferred upon him, and was appointed governor of 
the royal military college. He was member of parliament for Dumfries, in 1796, for 
the county of Linlithgow, in 1800, and again, in 1802, 1806, and 1807. The present 
proprietor of Rankeilour is his second son. 

South-west of Rankeilour is Wester Fernie, the seat of Francis Balfour, Esq. This 
house is obviously of great antiquity, and has at one time been a place of considerable 
strength, surrounded by marshy ground which defended its approach. The grounds 
are now well drained, and richly ornamented with old timber. Fernie appears to 
have been part of the original estate of the earls of Fife; and the vulgar tradition 
is, though there is no authority for the supposition, that it was one of Macduff's 
castles. Wester Fernie was disponed by Duncan, the last earl of Fife of the 
line of Macduff "Johanni del Gleneclerico et Marie de Fyfe sponse sue consan- 
guinee mee, totam terram meam de Wester- Feme)-, cum pertinentiis, infra vice- 
comitatum de Fyfe ; ncc non forrestam meam de Kilface ex parte boreali montium 
de Ferney adjacentem in liberum maritagium ;" and by another charter he had 

* Supra, p. 15. 


conferred upon him " officium forrestarii de Falkland et constabularii castri nostri 
de Cupro in Fife." * From this John de Gleneclerico or his heirs, the lands 
of Fernie and the offices attached, passed to a family of the name of Fernie ; 
and the Fernies of Fernie long held the offices of forrester of Falkland, and con- 
stables of the castle of Cupar. f At an after period, the lands and offices came by 
marriage to a cadet of the Arnots of Arnot ; and in the seventeenth century, Margaret, 
baroness Balfour of Burleigh, married Robert, son of Sir Robert Arnot of Fernie, 
chamberlain of Fife. This Robert Ai-not took the name of Balfour in consequence of 
his marriage, and had the title of lord Burleigh, in virtue of a letter from the king. At 
the meeting of parliament in 1640, the estates in consequence of the absence of a com- 
missioner from his majesty, appointed lord Burleigh their president; and he was con- 
tinued in that office in 1641. He was also one of the commissioners for negotiating 
the treaty of peace with England, in 1640, and 1641, and was one of the privy coun- 
sellors constituted by parliament, in 1641. He opposed the "engagement," to march 
into England for the rescue of king Charles ; and was one of those who effectually dis- 
suaded Cromwell from the invasion of Scotland. In 1649, under the act for putting 
the kingdom in a posture of defence, lord Burleigh was one of the colonels for the 
county of Fife. The son of Margaret, baroness Balfour of Burleigh, and Robert lord 
Burleigh, was the third lord Balfour of Burleigh; he died in 1688, leaving three sons. 
The eldest of these was Robert, who, on his father and mother's death, was the fourth 
baron; the second, the honourable John Balfour, received as his partimony, his grand- 
father's paternal estate of Fernie ; and the third was the honourable Henry Balfour 
of Dunbog. From the honourable John Balfour of Fernie, the present proprietor 
Francis Balfour, Esq., is directly descended, and in consequence of the death of Robert 
the fifth baron without male issue, by which the eldest branch of the family became 
extinct, he is representative of the lords Balfour of Burleigh in the male line, and has 
claimed the title as heir male of the second baron. It is also claimed, however, by 
Bruce of Kennet, as heir of line of the fourth baron Burleigh. To the east of Wester 
Fernie is Easter Fernie, which of old belonged to the family of Auchmutie of that Ilk, 
and now to Mr Hope of Rankeilour. 

North of Fernie and Rankeilour, is the Mount, now the property of Mr Hope, but 
once the residence of Sir David Lindsay, Lord Lyon King-at-Arms, during the reign 
of James V. ; a circumstance which will ever make it interesting to Scotsmen, who 

* Sibbald, p. 393. 
f In our account of the parish of Cupar, we mentioned the monument within the church, p. 15, 
which is said to have been that of Sir John Arnot of Fernie. From the arms, however, which are 
the same on the monument as those of Fernie of Fernie on the roof of one of the rooms at Collairney, 
this monument at Cupar appears to have been erected to one of the elder family, Fernie of Fernie, 
and not to any of their successors the Arnots. 


value the early literature of their country. Sir David Lindsay was descended from Sir 
William Lindsay of the Byres, ancestor of the lords Lindsay of the Byres. Sir Wil- 
liam Lindsay's second son, also named William, obtained the lands of Garmylton, in 
the county of Haddington as his portion. He had a son David, who acquired the 
Mount from Pitblado of that Ilk, the previous proprietor, and died about the year 1507, 
leaving five sons, of whom David the poet, and the Lyon King, was the eldest, and as 
such succeeded to his father's estate. He appears to have been born at the Mount, 
about the year 1490, and received his earliest education at the burgh school of Cupar, 
after which he was sent to the university of St Andrews in 1505, the year of Knox's 
birth, and only two years before his father's death. He left the university in 1509, 
when he was about nineteen years of age, and as appears from statements by himself in 
his poems, entered shortly afterwards into the service of James IV. and his queen. 
On the birth of James V. in 1513, he entered into attendance on him as a page of 
honour. During the boyhood of the king, the young poet appears to have been en- 
trusted onlv with his amusements, while his education was directed by Gawvn Dunbar, 
an ecclesiastic of great merit and learning. Sir David's account in his Coinplaynt of his 
playful occupations is exceedingly graphic and pleasing. After telling that " he lay 
nichtlie by the king's cheik," he goes on to relate 

" How a? ane chapman beris his pack, 
I bure thy grace upon my back ; 
And sumtymes stridlingis on my neck 
Dansand with mony bend and beck ; 
The first syllabis, that thou did mute 
Was pa — da — lyn, upon the lute ; 
Then playit I twenty springs pcrqueir, 
Quhilk was great plesour for to heir; 
Fra play, thou leit me never rest, 
But gynkertoun, thou luffit ay be-t ; 
And ay quhen thou come from the sculc, 
Then 1 behufht to play the fide." 

Lindsay continued in his attendance on the king till 1524, when the intrigues of the 
queen mother, and of her husband the earl of Angus, enabled the latter for a time to 
engross the power of the state, and to get possession of the king's person. His 
teachers, and his companion were dismissed with pensions, and Lindsay states that 
the king was studious to enforce the payment of his. During this retirement from 

* Willi regard to L i I ' late of 

try tl -, Mr George Chalm lual I I I edition of hi orks, and 

from which our account i a note " some years ago, I requested the late Mr Profes it B ron to 

search the registers of tl 1508, it appeared David Lindsay is in the list 

of Incorporate, who a~ student , b d a right to vote." 


court the poet seems to have sought the muse at his residence on the Mount, and to have 
looked with grief on the oppressions of the period, arising from the domination of the 
Douglasses over both the prince and people, as appears from several of his earlier 
pieces which take their colour from the miseries of the time. In 1528, the king 
effected his escape from the thraldom he had been kept in, the oppressors were ban- 
ished, and with the freedom of the king, the people were also made free. This change 
in the government is soon observable in the writings of the patriotic poet as we see 
in his " Dreme," which he produced towards the end of 152S. Lindsay did not 
allow the king to forget his old companion ; he knew that " in the court men gat nothing 
without opportune asking," and his " Complaynt" which was written in 1529, appears 
to have producedthe desired effect, as next year he was inaugurated Lyon King-at- 
Arms, and made a knight. As his ordinary fee of office, the king assigned to Sir 
David four chalders and nine bolls of victual, out of the lands of Luthrie; and in 1542, 
gave to him for life " twa chalderis of aittis to his hors corn, to be takin up yierlie of 
his hienes kane aittis of his lands of Over Dynmure." This appointment seems to have 
brightened up his engyne, as he had hinted it would, and he now began his attacks on 
the churchmen, in his u C'o?nj>taj/nf of the Papingo," which appeared in December, 1530. 
In April, 1531, Lindsay was sent with Campbell and Panter, to Antwerp, for the pur- 
pose of renewing the ancient treaty of commerce with the Netherlands. They were 
well received by the emperor Charles V., and succeeded in the object of their mission. 
Shortly after his return Lindsay married Janet Douglas, of what family is not known ; 
but his marriage does not appear to have been productive of much happiness, and he 
died without issue. He was now occupied upon his drama, " A Satyre of the Three 
Estatis," which was exhibited in 1535 ; and in 1536, he produced his "Answer to the 
Kings Flyting" and his " Complaynt of Basche." 

In 1535, he with Sir John Campbell of Lauder again paid a visit to the emperor to 
demand in marriage some of the princesses of his house. They were well received 
and greatly rewarded, were shown the emperor's neices, and brought their pictures to 
the king ; but James does not appear to have been satisfied, or he had conceived that 
a connection with France would be more useful. Next year accordingly an embassy 
was sent to that kingdom, which was accompanied by Lindsay as lion herald, to demand 
in marriage a daughter of the house of Vendome. The poet was detained at the court 
of France till next year, when the king himself arrived to make his own choice. 
Neglecting the daughters of Vendome, James fixed his choice on Magdalene of France, 
who survived but forty days after her arm al in Scotland. Upon her death Lindsay 
published his " Deploratioun of the Deith of Queen Magdalene" in which he introduces 
by a striking prosopopoeia an expostulation with death. In 1538, Lindsay was em- 
ployed in designing and conducting the devices, with which the second marriage of 
the king was celebrated, of which Pitscottie has given an account ; and on this occasion 
he produced his " Jesting betwix James Watson and Jhone Barbour."" At Epiphany 


1539, his drama was performed at Linlithgow to the great amusement of the court and 
the mortification of the clergy ; and it was probably about this time that his " Supplica- 
tion against Syde Tails" appeared. In 1539-40, on the arrival of Sir Ralph Sadler 
as ambassador from Henry VIII., Lindsay was sent to receive him, was the means of 
communication between him and the king and queen, and acted a conspicuous part in 
the intriguing scene which ensued. In 1541, the poet now in his fiftieth year, entailed 
his estates of Garmylton Alexander, the Mount, and his other lands on himself and 
Janet Douglas his wife, in conjunct fee and life-rent, with remainder ^to his heirs male 

In December 1512, Lindsay was doomed to witness the death of the monarch who 
had so long honoured and rewarded him, and as lyon king must have directed the 
mournful ceremony of his funeral. His connection with James V. was now at an 
end, but Lindsay appears still to have interested himself in public affairs. He sat for 
the burgh of Cupar in the parliament which met in March 1542-3, and declared the 
earl of Arran heir to the crown in the event of the death of queen Mary ; and with 
Kirkaldy of Grange and others he " travelled to promote the governor, and to give him 
faithful counsel." The arrival of the abbot of Paisley, the natural brother of Arran the 
governor, led to a union of the hitherto conflicting interests of the queen-mother, Car- 
dinal Beaton, and the regent ; and the result of this was, according to Knox, that Lind- 
say and the other honest and godly men were banished the court. His office, how- 
ever, still led to his being sometimes employed, and accordingly in March 1513-4, he 
was sent by the regent to the emperor Charles V. to redeliver the order of the golden 
fleece with the statutes of the order, which had been conferred by that great sovereign 
on the Scottish king. He did not return to Scotland till the autumn of the year ; and 
he shortly afterwards published " Kitteis Confession'" for the obvious purpose of 
bringing auricular confession into disrepute. In the parliaments which sat at Edin- 
burgh in November 1544, at Linlithgow in October 1545, and at Edinburgh in August 
1546, he again sat as representative for the burgh of Cupar. Cardinal Beaton having 
been assassinated in May 1546, the conspirators retained possession of the castle of 
St Andrews, till July 1547, when it was surrendered to the French. At Easter of that 
year the conspirators were joined by John Knox, and there he was met by the lvon 
king, who appears to have visited the castle of St Andrews for the purpose of lend- 
ing his influence in persuading Knox to preach. Shortly after this he published his 
" T lie of the late Cardinal," in which he appears to be desirous of satirising the 
dead for the instruction of the living; and accordingly Keith says, he "has raked to- 
gether all the worst things that could be suggested against the prelate." 

In 1548, Sir David was dispatched to Christian king of Denmark to solicit ships, 
for protecting the Scottish coasts against the English; and to negociate a free trade for 
the Scottish merchant- particularly in grain. He was successful in his endeavours to 
obtain a free trade ; but the ships were not granted by the Danish king. When at 



Copenhagen, Lindsay became acquainted with his countryman Dr Macabeus, who was 
an early reformer, and had fled from St Andrews to avoid persecution.* After his 
return from Copenhagen he published " The Historic and Testament of Squire Mel- 
drum" the most pleasing of all his poems, and in 1553, he finished the last and 
greatest of his works " The Monarchie," which must have been the result of the labour 
of years. In 1554-5, he is found still acting in his office of lord lyon, having in January 
that year held a " Chaptour" of heralds, in the abbey of Holyrood house for the trial 
and punishment of William Crawar a messenger for abuse of his office. Sir David 
lived to see the reformation established, for which he had so long laboured ; but it is 
worthy of notice, that although he saw the return of Knox, and observed the number 
of persons " who were ready to jeopard lives and goods for the setting forward of the 
work of reformation," he never appeared personally at any of the meetings of the 
reformers, after they began to act openly against the established government ; nor does 
his name appear at the bond of association entered into by the congregation, in 1557. 
He died a short time previous to April 155S, and is supposed to have been interred 
in the burial place of the lords Lindsay of the Byres, in the church of Ceres. 

Sir David Lindsay was not only admired in his own country as a writer of the 
greatest excellence,but early attracted notice in the sister kingdom, and many of his 
works were published in London. Henry Charters in his "Adhortation " declared him 
to be equally excellent, as a poet, as a moralist, and as a scholar. As a man of 
learning he was early commended by Knox, and subsequently by Buchanan ; and in 
the opinion of Archbishop Spottiswoode he was foremost in the list of those learned 
Scotsmen, who distinguished themselves as the friends of the reformation. As a 
satirist Lindsay possessed the greatest power ; and in the course of his literary career, he 
left no error either in church or state, nor any vice in court, nobility, clergy, or people 
unattached. Tenderness and elegance are exhibited in his remembrance of the king's 
infancy; powers of high description and rich imagery in the prologue to his Dream: and 
powerful, yet easy and humorous description in his Squire Meldrum. The descriptive 
portion of his Monarchie is marked with uncommon elegance and vigorous expression, 
and it otherwise contains much that is nervous, terse, and highly polished. The 
account of the papacy is written Avith great penetration and knowledge of history ; 
and his drama is curious as showing the manners of the country and the age, and as 
recounting fleeting superstitions, and recording local customs. Lindsay's great defects 
are occasional want of correctness of versification, tediousness, inequality of style, 
but above all coarseness — which, however, was probably more the effect of the times in 
which he lived than of natural coarseness in himself. His popularity was anciently 
very great, but though this has passed away never to be recalled, he is still entitled 
to a high place among the early poets of our country. Tradition affirms that Sir 

* Supra, vol. I. p. 101. 


David composed most of his poems on the top of the Mount hill ; and a spot of 
ground now covered with wood is said, about seventy years ago, to have still been 
called Sir David's walk. A large portion of the south front of the old castle in which 
he lived, stood in a ruinous state about ninety years ago. The admirer of Sir David 
however, will now search in vain for any relic of the lyon poet at the Mount. A 
modern farm house occupies the site of his castle ; and although a carved stone is 
preserved in the wall of the offices, which had been in the ancient castle, it represents 
the arms and initials of one of his successors, not those of the poet. 

Sir David was succeeded in the Mount and other lands by his brother Alexander, 
who was again succeeded by his son Sir David who became lion king in 1591, and 
was inaugurated on the 2d May 1592. When he was enthroned, he was crowned by 
king James with the ancient crown of Scotland, which was used before the Scottish 
kings assumed a close crown ; and the same day, he dined at the same table with the 
king, having the crown on his head. lie died in 1621, leaving two daughters the 
second of whom married Sir Jerome Lindsay of Annatland, the son of the first pro- 
testant bishop of Ross. Sir Jerome succeeded his father-in-law as lion king in 1621, 
and held the office till 1630, when he resigned it in favour of Sir James Balfour 
Denmiln. The Mount remained with the family, at the time Sibbald published his 
History of Fife in 1710 ; and afterwards passed to the ancestor of the present pro- 
prietor Mr Hope. As already mentioned, a monument has been erected on the sum- 
mit of the hill to the memory of the late earl of Hopetoun. 

West of the Mount is Cunoquhie, the seat of George Paterson, Esq., a good modern 
house with well laid out grounds. Anciently Cunoquhie was part of the estate of 
Fernie, but in the reign of Charles I, it was purchased by Lovel, the representative of 
the barons of Balumby in Angus ; and afterwards came by marriage with the heiress 
to the Rev. Alexander Auchenleck, minister of the gospel, descended from the family 
of Auchenleck in that county.* 

South of Cunoquhie, and west of Fernie is Melville house the seat of the right hon. 
the earl of Leven and Melville. The house was erected in 1692 by George first earl 
of Melville, in the fashion then prevalentin Scotland. It is a large square building consist- 
ing of two principal stories, and a basement and attic. Two deep projecting wings, in- 
closed a court at the original front, the entrance to which is ornamented by winged 
Mercuries. The front has since been changed, and a new entrance has been made at 
what was formerly the back elevation ; the court is now laid out as a parterre, and 
decorated with shrubs and flowers. The view sdven in the en<rravim>- is from the north 


west, showing the entrance or north front, and also the west elevation. The saloon 
or hall is forty-five feet in length by twenty-four in breadth. The park which sur- 
rounds Melville house is enriched with a great quantity of noble trees, most of which 

3ibbald, p. 393. 


were probably planted when the house was built, though some of them may be even more 
ancient. The old approach is very grand, having on each side a double row of 
beech trees of great height and beauty ; this approach however, although the trees still 
remain, has now been superseded, and the modern winding approach through a richly 
wooded park has been adopted. The name of Melville as applied to the grounds 
around the house is comparatively modern, the park and inclosures including portions 
of the lands of Monimail, of Letham, and of Halhill. 

The lands of Monimail anciently belonged to the archbishop of St Andrews, who 
had a castle here, a portion of which still remains to the north of the house of Melville. 
It was originally built by bishop William Lamberton who died in June 1328,* and 
appears to have been enlarged and improved by Cardinal Beaton as a head with a 
Cardinal's cap is carved on different parts of the walls. Archbishop Hamilton resided 
at the castle of Monimail during a severe illness, when he was attended and cured by 
the famous Italian physician Cardan. About a mile from the site of the old church is a 
strong spring of pure water, which is known by the name of Cardan's well; so called, 
says tradition, because it was by the use of this water that the physician cured the 
archbishop. A belief long prevailed as to its medicinal properties, and within the 
last fifty years many persons used to frequent it. Its reputation, however, is now 
gone, and its situation almost forgotten. Letham also belonged to the archbishops of 
St Andrews. The barony of Monimail and Letham was acquired in 1557, by Sir 
Robert Melville of Murdocairney, second son of Sir John Melville of Raith, of whom 
mention has already been made.f 

Robert, second lord Melville of Monimail, the only son of Sir Robert of Murdo- 
cairney, was knighted and a privy councillor to king James and Charles I., and in 
1601 , on the resignation of his father was appointed an extraordinary lord of session 
by the title of lord Burntisland. He was removed in 1626, when an entire change of 
the extraordinary lords took place. He was one of the royal commissioners to open 
parliament on the 18th of June, 1633, and in that assembly energetically, though un- 
successfully opposed, the act for conferring on the king the power of regulating ecclesi- 
astical habits. On this occasion, addressing the king, he exclaimed aloud, " I have 
sworn with your father and the whole kingdom to the confession of faith, in which the 
innovations intended by these articles were solemnly abjured." He died without issue in 
1635, and was succeeded by his cousin John Melville of Raith who thus became third 
lord Melville. His eldest son George fourth lord Melville succeeded his father in 1(343. 
In consequence of his known principles he found it necessary to fly to the continent 
on the detection of the Rye-house plot, although he had no connection with that con- 
spiracy ; and his estates were forfeited. He accompanied the duke of Monmouth in 
his expedition to England, in 16S5, and on the failure of that enterprise again escaped 

* Martin, p. 22S. t P. 55. 


abroad. In 1688, he came over to Britain with William prince of Orange; and Ins 
forfeiture was immediately after rescinded. In 1690, lie was created earl of Melville, 
viscount of Kirkaldy, lord Raith, Monimail, and Balwearie; and the same year was 
appointed sole secretary of state, and constituted high commissioner to the parliament 
which sat at Edinburgh in April that year. He was again high commissioner to the 
parliament which met in September following, when he gave the royal assent to the 
act abolishing patronage. He resigned the office of secretary of state in 1G91, and was 
constituted keeper of the privy seal, which he held till 1696, when he had the appoint- 
ment of president of the council, continuing in that office till the death of king William, 
when he retired. He married Catharine, daughter of Alexander lord Balgonv, son of 
Alexander first earl of Leven. Their eldest son Alexander lord Raith a nobleman of 
considerable talents, was appointed treasurer depute in 1689, and continued to have 
the management of the public revenue till his death in 1698. The second son David 
was third earl of Leven and second earl of Melville. He entered the service of the 
duke of Brandenburg in 1685; was first a captain of horse, then a colonel of a regi- 
ment of foot, which he brought over to England with the prince of Orange. He was 
afterwards sworn a privy councillor to William and Mary, appointed colonel of the 
25th foot in March 1689, and governor of Edinburgh castle in July, same year. He 
fought at the head of his regiment at the battle of Killiecrankie, where he greatly dis- 
tinguished himself; and in 1692, served with them in Flanders. He succeeded to the 
earldom of Leven, on the death of his cousin Catherine countess of Leven, and sat in 
parliament as such, taking precedency of his father. He was constituted major-gene- 
ral of the forces in Scotland, in January 1703; and the following year general of the 
ordnance. In March 1706, he was appointed lieutenant-general and commander-in- 
chief of the forces in Scotland. He was a commissioner for the union, supported that 
measure in parliament, was chosen one of the sixteen representatives of the Scottish 
peerage in 1707, and again in 1708. He died in 1728. 

Alexander, second son of David third earl of Leven, was fifth earl of Leven and fourth 
earl of Melville ; he succeeded to these titles on the death of his nephew, the only son of 
his elder brother in 1729. He had been admitted an advocate in 1719, and appointed 
one of the lords of council and session in July, 1734. He represented his majesty 
George II. as commissioner to the General Assembly from 1741 to 1753, was chosen 
one of the representative peers in 1747, and appointed to succeed lordTorphichcn as 
one of the lords of police in 1754, but died September that year. His second son the 
honourable Alexander Leslie embraced the military profession, and gradually rose to 
the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In 1775, he was appointed aid-de-camp to the king, 
with the rank of colonel in the army. He was appointed major-general in 1779, had 
the command of the 63d foot, 1782, and ranked as lieutenant-general from 1787. He 
was in active service during the American war; and at the battle of Guildford, 15th 


March 1781, was second in command under lord Cornwallis, who in his dispatches 
mentioned his conduct in the highest terms. 

David, sixth earl of Leven and fifth earl of Melville, like his younger brother entered 
the army and had a company in the 16th foot, in 17-14. He succeeded his father 
the last earl, in 1754, and was one of the lords of police from 1773 to the abolition of 
that board in 1782." He represented his majesty as high commissioner to the General 
Assembly from 1783 to 1801, both inclusive. His second son, the Hon. William Leslie, 
captain of a company in the 17th regiment of foot, was killed in an engagement with 
the Americans at Princeton in the Jerseys, in January 1777, when serving under lord 
Cornwallis and his uncle general Leslie. The hon. David Leslie the third son had a 
company in the 16th foot, and was aid-de-camp to his uncle general Leslie, when com- 
manding in Scotland. He was afterwards lieutenant-colonel of the Tay Fencibles with 
which regiment he was actively employed in Ireland during the rebellion in 1798. He 
had the rank of colonel in the army, 1801, major-general, 1808, and was afterwards 
lieutenant-colonel of the 48th foot, and a major-general on the North British staff. He 
has enjoyed the rank of general in the army since 1S30. The hon. John Leslie the 
fourth son, had an ensign's commission in the 1st regiment of foot guards in 1778, with 
this regiment he continued, and was first major in April, 1804. He had the rank of 
major-general in 1802, and of lieutenant-general, 1808. He served with distinction on 
the continent against the French, and was wounded in an engagement in Holland, in 

Alexander, seventh earl of Leven and sixth earl of Melville, succeeded his father the 
former earl, in 1802. He was appointed comptroller of the customs in Scotland, in 
1786, and chosen one of the sixteen representatives of the Scottish peerage, in 1806. 
He was succeeded on his death by the present earl David, eighth earl of Leven and 
seventh of Melville, a captain in the royal navy which rank he lias held since 1812. 
On 31st October, 1809, he had the command of a boat in the attack on the French 
convoy in the bay of Rosas, and is particularly mentioned by lord Collingwood in his 
dispatch of the following day. He succeeded his father in 1S20, and was married in 
1824 to Elizabeth Anne, daughter to Sir Archibald Campbell of Succoth, baronet, late 
one of the senators of the college of justice. His lordship's heir-apparent Alexander 
viscount Balgonie was born in 1831. 

III. The church of Monimail which was originally a mensal church belonging to the 
archbishopric of St Andrews, is at present inconveniently situated for the greater part 

* His lordship in July 1747, married Wilhelmina, posthumous daughter and nineteenth child of 
William Nisbet of Dirleton. Their married life extended to the rare period of fifty-one years, during 
which they'experienced " uninterrupted conjugal afTection and felicity, heightened by the exercise of 
parental duties." The fiftieth anniversary of their marriage was celebrated at Melville house, 29tli 
January, 1797. Her ladyship died the following year. 


of the parish, as it is scarcely a mile from one extremity, while it is five miles by the 
road distant from other portions of it. It was built in 179(>,* is rather a handsome 
building, in good repair, and affords accommodation for nearly 600 persons. The 
seats are allotted to the inhabitants according to the properties on which they reside. 
The number of families attending the established church is 238 ; the number of indi- 
viduals of which these families consist, is 1057. The average number of communicants 
is nearly 500. The manse was built in 17 l J0, and is still in excellent condition. The 
glebe contains only five acres. The stipend is, wheat, 16 bolls ; meal, 88 bolls, 3 fir- 
lots, 1 peck, 1 lippie ; barley, 104 bolls, 3 firlots, 1 peck, 1 lippie ; bear, 16 bolls; 
oats, 54 bolls, 1 lippie; and in money, £8 8s. Id. sterling. The present incumbent is 
the Rev. James Brodie. The earl of Leven and Melville is patron of the parish- 
There was until a few years ago a bible and missionary society ; but the plan of con- 
gregational collections is now adopted, and hitherto the amount raised has not fallen 
off. There is no dissenting congregation in the parish; but there are thirty-one families 
of seceders, containing 162 persons in the parish. There are also three families, con- 
sisting of 1 1 individuals, belonging to the episcopal church. 

There are live schools in the parish. The parochial school is situated at the village 
of Letham, and is conducted by the Rev. Mr Esplin. He has a good school-house, an 
excellent dwelling house and garden, the maximum salary, and a small sum yearly 
mortified to the schoolmaster and reader of the parish. From these sources with the 
school fees his income may be about £70 per annum. There are two other schools 
taught by male teachers partly supported by subscription, and partly by the school 
fees. The other two schools are taught by female teachers, who are supported in a 
similar manner. The branches of education taught are reading, writing, arithmetic, 
mathematics, grammar, geography, Latin; and in the female schools knitting and sew- 
ing. The average number of scholars attending the different schools during the winter 
season is about 150, but in summer the attendance is not so much. There are two 
parish libraries, one of which contains a good selection of books in general literature, 
the other consists exclusively of religious publications. 

The average number of persons receiving parochial aid is 12; and the usual sum 
allowed is 4s. per month. The only sources for their support are, the collections at 
the church door, which, exclusive of those made for special purposes, amount to £55 
per annum, donations, &c, averaging about £10 per annum, and a voluntary assess- 
ment of the heritors, about £20 ; making in all about £85 per annum. Of this nearly 
£20 i>< required for the support of pauper lunatics. There is a friendly society in the 
parish, which is in a flourishing condition. It has done much good, and has prevented 

* The bell of the old church, which was removed about ninety years ago, when the one still in use 
was eiecteJ in its stead, had been used, as appeared from an inscription upon it, from the time of 
Robert Bruce. Statistical Account, Vol. II. p. 402. 


many from the hard necessity of being obliged to apply to tire parish. Another society 
was broken up a few years ago, having like many others been established on erro- 
neous principles.* 

IV. The population has been gradually though slowly increasing for many years. 
In 17.35 the return to Dr Webster was 8S4, but this has been considered as within the 
truth. In 1791 the population was 1101; in 1801, 10GG ; in 1811, 1160; in 1821, 
1227 ; and in 1831, 1230. During this period the amount of the agricultural popula- 
tion has considerably decreased ; and the cause of the general addition to the popula- 
tion is the increase of weavers in the parish. The following is the analysis of the 
government returns in 1831. 

Males 20 years of age, 340; tolal males, 599; females, 631 ; total, 1230. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 133; ditto in manufactures and handicraft, 144; all other 
families, 7; total families, 284. 

Persons occupying land employing labourers, 22 ; ditto not employing labourers, 26 ; labourers em- 
ployed in agriculture, 147; total persons employed in agriculture, 195. 

Persons employed in manufacture, GO 

Ditto in retail trade, or in handicraft as master or workman, 40. 

Capitalists, professional and other educated men, 12. 

Labourers not employed in agriculture, 19. 

Other males 20 years of age except servants, S. 

Male servants 20 years of age, 6; female servants, 74. 

Inhabited houses, 260; uninhabited, 10. 

The Yearly average of births, is 28j; of marriages, S\ ; and of deaths, 19+ In 
172, the Rev. Mr Martin in his Statistical Report j gives the averages as follows, births 
30; marriages 9 ; and deaths 8|. If this was correct while the marriages and births 
have decreased, the deaths have very greatly increased, much more, indeed, in propor- 
tion, than the increase of the population. 

V. The system of husbandry here is much the same as that pursued in the neighbour- 
in 0, parishes, varying of course according to the nature of the soil. On the richer soils 
potatoes have in a great measure superseded summer fallow ; and on the lighter soils 
bone manure is now applied in the raising of turnips which are eaten off by sheep. 
Few sheep are reared in the parish, but considerable numbers of the Cheviot and black 
faced breeds are bought in autumn, fed on turnips during the winter and spring, and 
afterwards sold. The breeds of cattle cultivated are the Fifeshire, the Teeswater, and 
the Ayrshire, with the various crosses produced between them. There are about 
3000 acres under cultivation, in the parish; in pasture including the grounds around 
gentlemen's seats, there are about 2000 acres; and 500 acres in wood. The annual 
amount of raw produce has been estimated by the Rev. Mr Brodie as follows. $ 

* New Statistical Account, Fifeshire, p. 47, 48. f Ibid. j Statistical Account, Vol II. p. 400. 

5 New Statistical Account, Fifeshire, p. 44. 


1400 arable acres in corn, value of corn and straw, £7 per acre, £9S0O 
700 acres green crop at £7 per acre, .... 4900 

900 arable acres in hay or pasture, at £3 per acre, . . 2700 

2000 acres in permanent pasture, at £l 5s. . . . 2500 

5(J0 acres in wood, cutting and minings, .... 200 


The expense of producing this Mr Brodie estimates at £8050 sterling, leaving 
£12,050 sterling as the actual profit derived from the soil, from which the rent to the 
landlord, and the remuneration to the farmer for his labour and capital are paid. The 
rent of arable land per acre varies from £1 to £3 ; the average rent is probably about 
£2. The grazing for an ox varies from £2 to £3 10s.; for a sheep from 7s. to 12s. 
The total rental of the parish may be calculated at about £8000 sterling. In 177 4, the 
rental of the parish was nearly £2500 sterling; and in 1S15 the annual value of real 
property assessed for the property tax was £10,229 sterling. The valued rent of the 
parish is £79S1 Is. 4d. Scots. The farms are all well laid out, thoroughly drained, 
and vary in size from 150 to 400 or 500 acres. They are let on leases for the usual 
period of 19 years, and the rents are paid, part in a money rent, and part at the price 
of grain, according to the fiar prices of the county. ■ The farm steadings are all sub- 
stantial, and suitable to the purposes and extent of the farm. 

VI. There are no persons in the parish who have capital employed either in the 
cotton or linen manufacture ; but there are a great many weavers who work for the 
manufacturers in Cupar and Newburgh. The Rev. Mr Brodie says that the annual 
value'of the labour employed in manufactures in the parish may be estimated at between 
£2000^and £3000 per annum. There is a brewery in the village of Letham where excel- 
lent table and small beer is brewed. 

vol. ir. 



I. This small parish lies immediately north-east of the parish of Monimail, and to the 
north-west of that of Cupar, from which burgh, the church of Creich is distant about 
five miles. Its extreme length from north to south is scarcely three miles; its breadth 
varies from one-and-a-half miles at the south end to only one at the north. Near 
Luthrie, about the middle of the parish, it is about two miles in breadth. On the 
south, Creich is bounded by the parishes of Dunbog and Monimail ; on the east, by 
those of Monzie, Kilmany, and Balmerinoch ; on the north, by Flisk ; and on the west, 
by Flisk and Abdie. The northern and greater portion of the parish, which occupies 
a section of the range of the Ochils, is a series of hills of no great height, and small in- 
tervening valleys ; but to the south it is chiefly level, forming part of the fine valley 
which runs cast at the base of the Ochils, through the parish of Kilmany. There are 
two villages in the parish, Luthrie near the middle, where the present church is, and 
Brunton towards the north, near the site of the former church. There is only one 
public-house in the parish, which is in the village of Luthrie. There are only 1 mile, 
660 yards of turnpike road in the parish, and about 1200 yards which skirt its south- 
eastern boundary; but there are 3 miles 610 yards of statute labour roads, besides 
country roads. The resident heritors, are Andrew Wallace, Esq. of Balmeadowside ; 
Charles Hill, Esq. of Luthrie; George Todd, Esq. of Easter Luthrie, and John 
Miller, Esq. of Easter Kinsleith. The non-resident heritors, are George William 
Hope, Esq. of upper Rankeilour, proprietor of Parbroath; Charles Baillie Rait, Esq. 
of Carphin ; David Gillespie, Esq. of Kirkton and Montquhany, proprietor of Creich ; 
and James Nairne, Esq. W. S., proprietor of Skilmervie. Besides these, there are a 
number of small feuars in the villages. 

II. At the north end of the parish is the estate of Creich, from which the parish has 
obviously derived its name. This property was acquired in the reign of James IV. 
by Sir David Bethune, a younger son of Sir John Bethune of Balfour. Sir David 
was brought up from his youth with James IV., and was in great favour with him. 
He was first appointed comptroller of the Exchequer ; and subsequently lord high-trea- 
surer of the kingdom, which office he retained till his death.* His son and heir, Sir John 
Bethune of Creich, was father of Janet Bethune, who married Sir Walter Scott of Branx- 
holm and Buccleugh, ancestor of the present duke of Buccleugh. Sir Walter was a brave 
and warlike baron and at the request of James V., attempted to rescue that monarch from 

* Crawford's Officers of State, p. 36S. Sir David was succeeded in office by his brother, Dr James 
Bethune afterwards Archbishop of St Andrews. The well known cardinal Bethune, was the sou of 
their elder brother, the laird of Balfour. 


the Douglases, in whose hands he was little better than a prisoner. The attempt he made 
was defeated, and he was obliged to retreat, after a severe skirmish, in which many of his 
opponents were slain, and among these, Sir Andrew Kerr of Cessford, an adherent of the 
Douglas faction. The death of this Border chief, created a deadly feud betwixt the Scotts 
and Kerrs, which caused much bloodshed; and among others, Sir Walter himself was 
murdered by the Kerrs on the streets of Edinburgh in 1552. Lady Buccleugh appears 
to have been a woman of a masculine spirit, as she rode at the head of the clan, when 
called out to revenge the death of her husband. " She possessed also," says Sir Wal- 
ter Scott, " the hereditary abilities of her family in such a degree, that the superstition 
of the vulgar imputed them to supernatural knowledge." This belief in her witchcraft, 
and the spirit of faction, led to the foul accusation against her, of having instigated 
queen Mary to the murder of her husband. This daughter of the house of Creich, has 
become familiarly known from the prominent place she occupies in Sir Walter Scott's 
poem of the Lay of the Last Minstrel. Sir John Bethune was keeper of the palace of 
Falkland, and steward of Fife during part of the reign of James V.* 

Robert Bethune his second son was early attached to the royal household, and is 
said to have attended the young queen Mary to France as a page ; and after her re- 
turn to Scotland, to have been appointed master of the household, heritable steward of 
Fife, and keeper of Falkland palace. He married a French lady, who was a lady of 
honour to the queen ; and on the death of his elder brother, succeeded to the family 
estate of Creich. One of his daughters was Mary Bethune, one of the queen's four 
Maries, whom Scottish tradition and song have so intimately associated with the history 
of her unfortunate mistress, and whose extraordinary beauty has been nearly as cele- 
brated as her own. An original portrait of Mary Bethune is still preserved at the 
house of Balfour, which was probably removed there, when the estate of Creich came 
to be sold. Mary Bethune was married to Alexander Ogilvie of Boyne, the repre- 
sentative of an old and respectable branch of the powerful family of Findlater in the 
year 1566; and both she and her husband were still alive in 1606. The marriage 
contract between these parties, has been published by the Maitland club in part I. 
of their Miscellany. It is curious, not only in connection with this celebrated beauty, 
who was one of the principal parties, but as bringing together, in one transaction, and 
in terms of mutual confidence, a number of persons who played important and gene- 
rally hostile parts in a very interesting period of Scottish history. It is subscribed by 
the queen and Henry Damley, and by the earls of Huntly, Argyle, Bothwell, Murray, 
and Athol, as cautioners for the bridegroom. The signatures of the bride's father, and 
Michael Balfour of Burleigh, his cautioner, are wanting.! The family of Bethune 

Act Pari. vol. II., p. 296. 
i Maitland Miscellany, pari I. pp. 39, 40. The following arc some excerpts from the marriage 
contract. " It is appoyntit, aggreit and finalic contractu bctuix ane rycht excellent hie ami michtic 


continued to possess the property of Creich, till shortly previous to the time when 
Sibbald wrote his history. During the time this family flourished, probably no one of 

princes, .Marie (incur of Scotland, takand (ho burdin upoun hir hienes, with consent and assent of 
ane rycht excellent prince, Henrie kin-' of Scotland hir majesties spous for his intres, with Robert 
Betoun of Creche for Marie Betoune, familiar servitrix to our said souerane lady, and dochter to 
the said Robert, and the said Mario for hirself on that ane taut, and Alexander Ogilby of Boyne, 
took consent of his friendes ON THE UTHER part, in manner, forme, and effect as efter followis, That 
is to say, the said Alexander sail, Goduilling, marie and tak to his spousit wif the said Mario Betoun 
and sail solempnizat the hand of matrimonie with her in face of haly kirk with solemnitiis requyrit 
therto betuix the dait heirof, and the day of nixt heirefter following, or 

Minor as salbe thochl expedient be our said souerane lady. And befoir the completing of the said 
marriage, the said Alexander Ogilby of Boyne sail infefl the said Mario Betoun in his wirginitie in 
lyfrent he alienatioun and wenditioun titulo oneroso for sowmis of mony v. ith clausis of warrandice as 
effeirs, En all and hail! his landis of Auchquhannachiis gevand ho zeir vij chalderis victuall, the 
lands of Colphynnis gevand zeirlie fourtie merkis, to he haldin of our souerauis lord and lady; and 
siklik ia his landis of Ordingis gevand zerlie xl. merkis lyand within the forresterie of Boyne, to be 
haldin of umquhile Johnne lord Dernelies aris; and sicklik in his landis of Glassouche lyand in the 
baronie of Fordise gevand zeirlie \ij chalderis victuall and Ion merkis haldin of the bischop of Aber- 
dene : ami his lands of Ragall with the pertinentis, payand zorlie xxx. merkis haldin of the abbacie of 
Abarbrothock ; and in the tempill landis of Strathardill, with the pertinentis lyand within the schirif- 
dome of Banfe, and in the tempill landis of Leslie lyand within the schirefdome of Aberdene haldin 
of the lordisof Sanct Johns payand zerlie x. merkis, and siklik in the landis of Auchlevin gevand zer- 
lie xx. merkis haldin of the lardis of Fynlattar lyand within the schirefdome of Aberdene, to be haldin 
be the said Mario Betoun of the superiouris of the saidis landis respective foirsaidis outlier be aliena- 
tioun with confirmatioun thereupoun, or he resignatioun as -all best pleise the said Mario Betoun, 
our said so verane and hir fader foirsaid. And efter the-completing of the said marriage betuix the 
said Mario Betoun and (ho said Alexander, ho sail infefl hir with him self in conjunctfe in the landis 
foirsaidis respectiue, to thame and (he langer levand of thame twa on conjunctfeftment, and (he aris 
maill lauchfullie to he gottin betuix thame, quhilkis failzeing to the said Alexanderis aris maill 
lauchfullie to ho gottin betuix thame, quhilkes failzeing to (ho said Alexanderis aris maill 
lauchfullie to ho gottin of his body, quhilkis failzeing to the said Alexanderis aris quhatsumever, to 
he haldin of (he superiouris of the samin respective foirsaidis siklik, and in the samin manor as the 
said Alexander held the samin of befor, and that ho allienatioun with confirmatioun or ho resigna- 
tioun as the said Marie hir fader and freindis sill best pleise, And siklik the said Alexander sail 
with all diligence obtcno and gel him self retowit and servit he brevis or utheruis, and sesit in tlie 
hall! landis and thanedome of Boyne, with the lour, fortalice and pertinentis of the samin quhatsum- 
euer hand within the shirefdome of Banff ho consent of his raoder conjunctfier therof ; and failzeing 
thai hir consent cannot ho had lhaiito, ho disp< nsil o( our soveranis lord and lady to the sherif of the 
schire and personis quhatsumever quha salhappin to ho vpoun the inquiest of the said seruice, rc- 
seruand (he h front of the samin landis and thanedome to his said moder for hir lyftyme. And how 
Mine ho sallbe sesil and retourit thereintill, lie sail infeft incontenent thereftir the said Marie Betoun 
■with him self in conjunctfeftment, and lo the langar Ievar of thame twa, &c, in the howse and manis 
of Balchrogie with (he pertinentis quhilkis is ane part of the said thanedome gevand he zeir xvj. 
chaldaris of victuall to ho haldin, &c. FOR Tin: QUHILKIS CAUSSisour said soucranis lord and lady 
sail cause George erll of Huntlie, lord Gordoun ohaneellar, ^c, Archibald erll of Argill, lord Camp- 
hell and Lome. &c, James erll Bothuell, lord Crechtoun, Ilalis, and Liddisdaill, &c. James erll 



their rank in Scotland, formed so great a number of matrimonial connections with 
the noble and more powerful families of the kingdom than they did. 

Murray, lord Abemethy, &c, John crll of Athoill, Inn! Balwanye, &c, to bccum cautioneris souertus 
and full dettouris conjunctlie, and takand burdin vpon thame their aris and executoris and assignayis 
for (ho said Alexander Ogilby of Boyne, to freth relief and keip him his aris cxecutouris and assig- 
nayis harmless and skaithles of the rycht of his marriage, single and dowbill awaill thereof and pro- 
fetis (hat may follow therevpon, quhilk pertenis or ony wayis may perfeine to William lord Forbes; 
or ony his donatouris or assignayis therto. And quhatsumevir proffetis sownies of mony, vther com. 
nioditiis or awaillis quhilkis may be obtenit be decreit of the saidis lordis of counsall or utheruis be 
the said lord or his assignayis vpon the said Alexander, his aris and assignayis or successouris for (lie 
saidis marriage, single or dowbill, awaill thereof, or quhat expenssis or inconuenientis that sail happin, 
or may follow thervpon tlie saidis personis cautioneris and full dettouris abonewrittin conjunctlie sail 
relief the said Alexander thereof, and sail refund and pay to him and his aris all sowmes, expensis, 
ami interess^that sail happin to be recouerit aganis the said Alexander thairvpon, ^c. And attour the 
said Robert Betoun of Creich, fader to the said Marie, bindis and oblissis him and his aris to content 
and pay to the said Alexander and his aris, the soume of thrc thowsand merkis in forther tocher 
guid with the said Marie, at, the termes following, viz. twa thowsand merkis at the completing of the 
said manage, and the uthcr thowsand merkis in compleit payment of the said soume of thre thowsand 
merkis within sex monethis nixt efter the completing of the said marriage. And for suir payment 
thereof, Michel Balfour of Burlie is becumin and becumis cautioner, soucrtie, full dettour to the 
said Alexander with the said Robert Betoun conjunctlie and severallic. And for observing, keping 
and fulfilling of the premissis, the said Robert Betoun, Marie his dochter and Alexander Ogilby, 
partiis abone written, our saidis soueranis lord and lady, and personis becumin cautionaris ar content 
and consentis that the .said contract he actit and [registrat in] the buikis of counsall, &C." This 
deed is dated the 3d, and is recorded in the register of deeds, the 21st May, lo(>(>. 

The tradition as to the beauty of the queen's four Maries lias in thecase of Mary Bethune, receiv. 
ed the support of no common testimony. George Buchanan lias celebrated her in the following 
verses in his Valentiniana. 

t( Ad Murium Betonam 
pridie Regalium Reginum sorte ductam. 
Regno animus tibi dignus crat, tibi regia virtus; 

Et poterant formam sceptra decere tuam. 
Fort una erubuit sua munera sola deesse, 

Quae tibi nunc plena dat cumulata maiui. 
I [ue tibi immunem dederit livoris honorcm, 

Xiiii ^a'is est tardam visa luisse moram. 
Xi Regina, orbis longe dignissima sceptro, 

Gauderet regno laeta subesse tuo. 
Ad Eandem. 
An querar, an potius fori una; munera laudem, 

Qu me BetonsB mancipat impcrio ? 
Quo milii forma decens lmc tempore, cum mihi nulla 

Spes superest quod sit mutua cura mei? 
Si fortuna mihi mclior, melioribus annis 

In nic munifica =ic forct usa ninnu, 

In cinerem subito cecidissem versus, cratque, 

Q nod mihi vita brevis, poena futura levis. 
Nunc face sors lenta torret, ncc dat mihi vitas 

d'audia, ncc subitam dat mihi mortis opem. 
Sed sen vita manet vol mors, hoc gratulor unum 

Sub domiiKe arbitrio est vitaque morsque 
Ad Eand 
Quaj melior meritis mihi sors, Betona, dedit tc, 

Hsec cito scd meritis det precor oequa tuis. 

Ad Eandem. 

Horret hiems, ncc prata nitent, neque floribus 

Undc queam dominse serta parare meac. [liorti, 
Quique fuit cultu Musarum fertilis hortus 

Ingeuii, ajlatis frigore stringit hiems. 
Si tamen adspiret zephyrus Belonedos aura? 

Die etiam in vernas luxuriabit opes." 


The barony of Luthrie occupies the central portion of the parish, and included what 
is now called Luthrie, easter Luthrie, and Carphin. This barony anciently belonged to 
the family of Kinloch of Kinloch,* mentioned in the account of Collessie parish. 
Andrew Kinloch, brother of Sir Alexander Kinloch there mentioned, obtained Luthrie 
on his brother's death, and having no sons, he disponed it to his daughter Elizabeth 
and her husband, Robert Patersonof Denmure, upon the condition that he and his heirs 
by his wife should take upon them the name and arms of Kinloch, failing which the lands 
were to return to his brother George Kinloch. Andrew, the son of this marriage, en- 
tered into a contract with his grand-uncle George designed in Luthrie, whereby on 
giving up part of the lands he was allowed to return to his original name of Paterson, 
without the risk of forfeiting the remainder. Luthrie afterwards came into the family 
of Baillie of Balmeadowside and Parbroath, descended from the family of Carphin in the 
upper ward of Clydesdale. The first of that family was William Baillie of Carphin the 
second son of Sir William Baillie, who married the daughter and heiress of the patriotic 
Sir William Wallace, and with her acquired the estate of Lamington in the same 
shire. t The Baillies of Luthrie were therefore directly descended, through their female 
ancestor, from this illustrious and ill-requited patriot ; and in consequence of the ex- 
tinction of the older branches of Lamington and Carphin were, previous to their own 
decay, the representatives of the family. The house of Luthrie, and the lands adjacent 
were purchased from the late Colonel Alexander Baillie by the father of the present 
proprietor Mr Hill. The house is good, and the enclosures around it well wooded, so 
as to add greatly to the beauty of this portion of the parish. Carphin lies west of 
Luthrie, of which barony as already mentioned it originally formed a part. The house 
is situated on the face of a hill, having a south-eastern exposure, and like Luthrie adds 
greatly to the scenery here by the beautiful wood with which it is surrounded. It is 
now the property of Mr Baillie Rait ; as the third division of this ancient barony, Easter 
Luthrie, is of Mr Todd. 

In the neighbourhood of Luthrie is Skilmervie a small place belonging to Mr Nairne; 
and south of it is Kinsleith, anciently belonging to Kinloch of Kinloch, and now to Mr 
Miller. South of Kinsleith is Parbroath, as to which Nisbetf says, that there was yet 
extant in his time in the hands of Mr Hamilton of Wishaw, a charter granted by 
"John Ogilvy, with consent of William Lamberton Archbishop of St Andrews, to William 
de Kindeloch of the lands of Parbroath and Kinsleif." Lamberton was bishop in 1300, 
and died on 1328, so that this charter as to the lands of Parbroath must have been 
granted between these two periods. From the Kinlochs, these lands came to a branch 
of the family of Ramsay; and by marriage with Elizabeth Ramsay heiress of Parbroath, 
they were acquired by John Seton, said by Nisbet to have been the fourth son of the 
famous Sir Alexander Seton governor of Berwick, who so bravely defended that town 

* See p. 100. 1 Nisbet's Heraldry, vol. II. App. p. 137. } Vol. II. App. p. 27. 


in 1333 against Edward III. at the head of a large army. Their son, Alexander Seton, 
was the father of Sir Gilbert Seton, from whom the family continued in lineal suc- 
cession till the reign of James VI., when Parbroath was acquired by the Baillies of Bal- 
meadowside, who afterwards acquired Luthrie as already mentioned. It is now the 
property of George W. Hope, Esq. Sibbald mentions the ruins of the house of Par- 
broath as existing in his time ; but a portion of a single arch, standing in the middle of 
a field is all that now remains of the residence of the Setons. West of Parbroath 
is Balmeadowside, which was the first property obtained by the Baillies in Fife, as they 
were first designed of Balmeadowside, afterwards of Parbroath, and subsequently of 

III. The Rev. Alexander Henderson, so celebrated during the period of the resis- 
tance to episcopacy, was a native of this parish. He was born in 1583. The tradition 
is that he was born in Luthrie, and this has been confirmed by an entry in the parish 
records recently discovered by the Rev. Mr Lawson, of date 5 Oct. 1703, regarding the 
mortification of 2000 merks made by Mr Henderson for the benefit of the schoolmaster, 
in which it is distinctly stated that he was born in Luthrie. It is said he was descended 
from the ancient family of Henderson of Fordel, but of this there is no direct evidence, 
though many collateral circumstances tending to prove it, have been brought together, by 
the industry of the Rev. Mr Aiton of Dolphinton who has written an able and most im- 
partial life of Henderson. He was educated at St Andrews and was presented to the 
parish of Leuchars sometime between the end of the year 1611, and the beginning of 
1614. Although at first inclined to episcopacy, he very soon began to enter into the 
views of his presbyterian brethren, and became distinguished among them for his re- 
sistance to the attempts for the re-establishment of bishops; an opposition, which while 
it was marked by mildness, was conducted with intrepidity and zeal. In 1638 he was 
translated to Edinburgh, much against his own inclination, as he appears to have been 
much attached to his parish, and said " he was too old a plant to take root on another 
soil." In 1640, he was elected Rector of the University of Edinburgh, an office which 
had never previously been filled up, but which he continued to hold by re-election till 
his death ; and in which he continued to exert himself in every way for the benefit of 
that institution. He was Moderator on several of the most important meetings of the 
General Assembly of the church during this time. He was one of the most efficient 
of the Scottish commissioners at the Westminster Assembly ; and had the singular hon- 
our of proposing and partly framing, the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter 
Catechisms, the Directory or Platform of Church Government and Worship, and also 
of forwarding the metrical version of the psalms still used in Scotland. When the un- 
fortunate Charles 1., sought the protection of the Scottish army at Newcastle, there was 
a strong wish among the leading presbyterians, that he could have been converted 
from episcopacy ; and with the consent of the king, Mr Henderson was deputed to dis- 
cuss with him, the various points of difference between the two modes of church 


government. The argument was carried on in writing for some time, Charles writing 
his own papers, which are still preserved in the Lambeth library ; but it was brought 
to an abrupt termination by the illness of Henderson, whose constitution at this time 
completely broke down. It was unfortunate for the king that Henderson was from 
this time unable to take the lead in public affairs which he had done, as occurrences 
which subsequently took place, would in all probability have been prevented through his 
influence. Henderson was obliged to return to Edinburgh, where he died on the 19th 
of August 164(1. Many attempts have been made to injure the character of Henderson 
since his death, and it has been said he died of grief, at the sufferings he had brought 
upon the king. But it seems altogether unfair to charge Henderson with what did 
occur ; as notwithstanding the many papers which passed between them, Charles him- 
self never did so ; but rather, says Wodrow, expressed " an uncommon esteem for him, 
for his learning piety and solidity." Henderson, says his biographer the Rev. Mr Aiton, 
" was in every respect, remarkably adapted for the station he held as leader of the 
middle party, between two others which were more extreme in their measures. Averse, 
on the one hand, to an absolute government, which Baillie and other westerns were 
willing to support, and altogether hostile to that spirit of republicanism and religious 
independencv which was daily gaining ground, he as the supporter of a limited mon- 
archy, restrained and modified the ultra contending factions with which he was sur- 
rounded." Besides the mortification to the parish of Creich, he made another mortifi- 
cation in favour of the parish of Leuchars where he had first entered upon the office 
of the ministry. 

IV. The church of Creich belonged anciently to the Abbey of Lindores, the monks 
of which drew the tiends and supplied the cure ;* but besides the parish church there 
was also a chapel, though where it was situated, or how supported is not now known. 
It is supposed however to have been on the lands of Parbroath at the south end of the 
parish. The ruins of the old church still remain in the church-yard near the northern 
extremity of the parish ; and show it to have been of considerable antiquity. On one 
of the gabels is the date 1621; but this is certainly only the date of its having been repaired. 
From the appearance of some round arches, and of two pillars, it must be considered 
as at least two centuries older. In the northern wall are two arched monumental niches, 
which were intended for the reception of recumbent effigies of some of the ancient 
lords of the district or their relations. The sculptures however have either never been 
placed there, or they have been long since removed. On the front of the key-stone of 
one of these arched niches, which is near the east end of the church, where the altar 
former! v stood, a coat of arms is engraved, which is that of the Barclays of Collairney, 
whose residence was in the neighbouring parish of Dunbog, with a difference we may 

* Creich was anciently a vicarage; but after the reformation the pastoral charge was not for some 
time fille-l up. A reader only was appointed, and this parish as well as Dunbog was under the super- 
intendence of the parson of Flisk. 


presume for cadency.* The present church, which stands at the village of Luthrie, 
near the centre of the parish, is a handsome structure in the pointed style, which was 
begun in 1S30, and finished in 1S32, when it was opened for public worship. The 
attendance at worship is regular and respectable considering the limited population ; 
the number of communicants averages about 19S. The stipend is of wheat 1 boll 3 
firlots and 3 lippies, meal 3 bolls 1 firlot and 3 lippies, bear S bolls 3 firlots and 2 
pecks, oats 6 bolls 1 firlot 2 pecks and 1 lippie, and money £209 15s. 8d. sterling. 
The manse and offices are in excellent condition, finely situated in a valley near the 
old church ; and the glebe including an excellent garden consists of five acres. The 

present incumbent is the Rev. Alexander Lawson : the patron Grant, Esq. of 

Congalton. There is no dissenting chapel in the parish, but there are about 30 grown 
up persons dissenters, who attend different places of worship at Cupar and Rathillet. 
The dissenters with their children amount altogether to 42 individuals ; the whole of the 
rest of the population belonging to the established church. 

The parish school is situated at Luthrie, where the usual branches of education are 
taught. The number of pupils attending average about 60. Besides the school-room 
the teacher has the legal accommodation of house and garden, and the maximum salary. 
He has also the yearly interest of the mortification by the Rev. Mr Henderson, and 
his school fees. II is fees are, per quarter, for English reading 2s. for reading with 
writing "2s. (kl, for these with Arithmetic 3s., and for Latin 5s. The number of poor 
receiving regular relief from the parish is five, besides which a few receive occasional 
assistance. The sources from which they are supplied are the collections at the church 
door, the rent of land, and the interest of money saved by the session. 

V. The population of this parish, according to the old Statistical Account, was 306 
in 1792; but it had decreased one-fifth during the thirty-five years then preceding. 
This, Dr Greenlaw who wrote that Account, attributes to a village being allowed to go 
to decay, to the union of small farms, and the introduction of the two-horse plough. In 
1801, the population had increased to 405 ; and in 1811 it was only 403 ; in 1821, it had 
decreased to 3.)4 ; but in 1831 it had again increased to 419 ; it is at present, 1838, 
422. The following is the analysis of the government return in 1831. 

Males 20 years of nge, 105, total males, 19-3; females, 226; total 419. 

families chiefly employed in agriculture, 38, ilitto, in trade, manufactures, and handicraft, 43, all 
other families not comprised in these two classes, 4; total families, 85. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers, 7; Labourers employed in agriculture, 39. 

Persons employed in manufacture, 21 ; employed in retail trade, or in handicraft as masters or 
workmen, 30. 

Capitalists, professional or other educated men, 4. 

Labourers employed in labour not agricultural, 3. 

Male servants under twenty years of age, 1 ; female servants, 23. 

Inhabited houses 71; uninhabited, 2. 

* The arms of Barclay of Collairney are Azure, a Chevron Or, between three crosses pattee argent, 



VI. The total number of imperial acres in the parish is 2314; of which there are 
arable, or at least occasionally in tillage, 1813 acres, under wood 201, never cultivated 
and which remain waste or in permanent pasture, 276 ; in roads, 21 acres.* On the low 
grounds, and valleys, and on the slopes of the hills, the soil is generally sharp but fer- 
tile ; and as appears from the above statement, every available piece of ground is brought 
under the action of the plough. Indeed the only waste or constantly pastured ground 
is the summits of the numerous small hills in the northern portion of the parish, where 
the soil is too thin to be fit for any thing but pasture or planting wood. If the latter, how- 
ever, were more generallv adopted, it would certainly increase the warmth of the lower 
grounds, and add to the beauty of the parish. The system of husbandry pursued, the 
breeds of cattle reared, the length of leases, average of rents, and mode of payment are 
all much the same as in the neighbouring parishes which have already been described. 
There is however only one farmer in the parish who keeps a flock of sheep. Great 
improvements have assuredly been effected in agriculture, since the first Statistical 
Account was published in 1792, but even then it would appear that great improvements 
had been made, and that the exertions of the farmer had been followed by success. " The 
rents of many farms," says Dr Greenlaw, " are doubled and some tripled, yet the ten- 
ants pay them, ride better horses, wear finer clothes, and entertain their friends better 
than before. Several tenants in this parish are become proprietors by mere success 
in farming; and have far more general knowledge too than they had 20 or 30 years 
a°-o." The farm houses and offices are all good and convenient ; and the fields very 
generally enclosed. There is one corn mill driven by water, and seven threshing mills 
all driven by horses in the parish. The valued rent of the parish is £2,767 19s. 4d. 
Scots ; the annual value of real property, for which the parish was assessed in 1S15 for 
the property tax, was £2,534 sterling. 

There are two individuals in the parish, one at Luthrie, and one at Brunton, who carry 
on the manufacturing of linen, on their own account, employing workmen, and their 
own capital in the trade. The cloth manufactured by them amounts, upon an average, 
in quantity to 84,000 yards, and in value to about £2,916, sterling. The principal 
portion of the weavers, however, work for manufacturers in Cupar, Newburgh, and other 
places, the yarns being transmitted to agents who give out the work, and receive back 
the cloth. The quantity of cloth Avoven for manufacturers not residing in the parish 
averages about 93,200 yards annually. The value of the weavers' labour, employed in 
manufacturing this quantity, will amount to about £1000. The goods chiefly woven in 
the parish are Osnaburgs, brown and white plain sheetings, and dowlas of various 
decrees of fineness. 

ns may yet be seen emblazoned on the roof of one of the rooms in the old tower of Collairney. The 
difference shown on the tomb is that the chevron is charged with a trefoil slipped vert. 

* Statement received from the Rev. Mr Lawson. 


VII. The old castle of Creich, so long the residence of the Betlmnes, stands on a rising 
ground a little way east of the church-yard, and adjoining the present farm-house of Creich. 
It is now a ruin, but the walls remain of their original height; and it is interesting not 
only as a relic of the times that have gone by, but as being the birth place of Mary 
Bethune already mentioned. It stands at the north east corner of the court-yard which 
appears to have been elsewhere surrounded with a lofty wall, having a gateway on the 
west side defended by two round towers, one of which only now remains. Its form 
is an oblong building of three stories high, having a large square tower of equal height 
projecting from the south side, at the east end, and a square turret containing the stair- 
case at the internal apex, where the two principal buildings join. On the outside, 
it measures from west to east, 39 feet; and from north to south, 4(i feet. The large 
oblong or principal building in which was the great hall, is 26 feet broad; and the 
breadtli of the projecting tower is much the same. The court yard was G3 feet in 
length, and 46 in breadth. The rising ground on which the castle stands, was for the 
greater part surrounded by marshy ground, and where this was not the case there is 
still evidence of its having been isolated by a ditch, which opposite, the gateway must 
have been crossed bv a draw-bridge. Altogether the castle of Creich, has formerly been 
a place of considerable strength, and though not a very convenient, must have been a 
tolerably safe residence during the troublesome times in which it was inhabited. 
There is no date on any part of the building, but its erection is in all probability coeval 
with the Bethunes' acquiring the property. 

At a little distance north-west from the church-yard, and within a mile in a direct 
line from the Tay, upon the top of a round hill of no great height, the remains of an an- 
cient British hill-fort may still be very distinctly traced. It consists of two concentric 
circles of stones; the inner circle inclosing the summit of the hill, and the outer, which 
is at some distance, inclosing of course a much greater portion of its upper surface. 
Both circles consist of a collection of rough stones, rudely thrown together; but they 
are not now in all probability of the height they once were. Dr Greenlaw, in his Ac- 
count, calls it a Roman encampment; but the learned Doctor did not advert to the fact 
that Roman encampments are always of a square or rectangular form, or as nearly so 
as the form of the ground will admit, while the hill-forts of the British people arc 
i invariably circular. He further says that the tradition with regard to it is, that 
when the Normans invaded the country for plunder and not for conquest, they depo- 
sited their spoils hero, till they got intelligence of a force being raised sufficient to repel 
them, when they hastened to their boats in the Tay ; and the tradition in the parish 
still is, that this fort was constructed by the Danes in some of their incursions on the coast. 
That this fort may have been used by the Danes is possible, though there is no evi- 
dence of the fact ; but that they, in any of their roving adventures, had cither time or 
inclination even to collect such a quantity of stones as form these inclosures, is most 
improbable, and not to be believed. There seems, therefore, no reason for depriving 


the early inhabitants of the country of the credit of erecting this rude hill-fort, for 
the protection of their families and herds of cattle from the attacks of their ene- 
mies ; and indeed these forts seem to belong to a period even earlier than the at- 
tacks of the northmen on the east coast of Scotland.* Within the inner circle of 
the fort, there was found, some years ago, a portion of a very rude, and certainly 
very ancient quern or handmill, formerly used for grinding grain. 

In the spring of 1816, some workmen in trenching, to the south-west of the manse, 
a piece of ground, which formed a kind of lateral shelf on the south side of one of 
those ridges of hills, with which the northern part of the parish is intersected, and 
about midway between the top of the ridge and the rivulet which flows along the strath 
beneath, came upon a number of stones about eight or ten inches below the surface, 
which appeared to be placed in a regular form. No attention was paid to the circum- 
stance, until two stones having figures very distinctly carved upon them were turned 
up ; after which, however, upon examination it was discovered that the stones had been 
sot on end, and had formed two concentric circles ; but no others were found with carving, 
except the two which led to the examination. The stones appeared to be sandstone, 
while there is no stone of the kind nearer than Cupar-moor, which is several miles dis- 
tant. They were mostly from a foot and a-half to two feet and a-half in height. 

The following year as some workmen were ploughing a field, about 500 or 600 
yards due east of the place where these stones were found, they came upon another 
collection of stones, and from the circumstance that had formerly occurred, they were 
induced to remove the earth carefully from the surface, when two circles of stone, such as 
had been previously found, were exposed. They immediately gave notice to the Rev. Mr 
Lawson, who after carefully examining them, and having them all marked, had them 
removed, with the consent of the proprietor, George Todd, Esq. of easter Luthrie, and 
arranged in the same order, in which they originally stood, in a small wood behind the 
manse, where they are still carefully preserved. Mr Lawson also sent a chawing and de- 
scription of this curious piece of antiquity, to the Scots Magazine in which it appeared.! 
As in the former instance, there are here two concentric circles, or rather ellipses of 
stones, most of which are also sandstone. The outer circle contains 32 stones set on 

* It is a curious fact (hat throughout Scotland, tradition always attributes the erection of any 
work, of which (here is no authentic account, to the people whose incursions in the locality have handed 
down a traditionary fear, and an idea of their supernatural prowess. Upon the east coast, every 
thing of this kind is attributed to the Danes, who often invaded the district, but never made a settle- 
ment ; and in the western counties every old work is attributed to the Picts, who never occupied that 
district, but of whom, from the same cause, there had been handed down a traditionary terror. In t lie 
southern counties, the objects of fear seem to have been different; and accordingly his Satanic Ma- 
jesty or Michael Scott, have the credit of constructing every work of which the vulgar know not the 

f See Scots Magazine, New Series, vol. I. p. 423. 


end; they are from 15 to 20 inches in height, from 8 to IS inches in breadth, and from 
-1 to 9 inches thick. This circle is 15 feet 1 inch in diameter from north to south, and 
only 14 feet 9 inches from east to west. The inner circle is formed of sixteen stones 
similarly placed on end, and of a similar size to those in the outer circle. The aiva 
within the central circle is entirely paved with flat stones, and in the centre of all, is 
an upright cylindrical stone about one foot two inches high, and about a foot in diame- 
ter at its base. The distance from this centre stone to the inner circle is three feet. 
The diameter of this circle is 6 feet 1 inch from north to south, and 5 feet 10 inches 
from east to west. Due south of the central stone, and within the inner circle are two 
stones forming part of the pavement, on which a number of hieroglyphics are carved 
in relief. 'It is worthy of notice, says Mr Lawson, that the number of stones in the 
outer circle corresponds exactly with the nu.nber of points of the compass, that in the 
inner circle there is half the number, and that in both circles a stone larger than the 
rest is placed at each of the cardinal points. Near this circle were found two stones 
which had formed part of a quern or handmill similar to that found at the British hill- 
fort already described. On removing these stones from their original position, a quan- 
tity of burned human bones and charcoal was found beneath the carved stones in the 
inner circle. 

Whit ibis relic of antiquity was intended for, we do not profess to be able to si 
Mr Lawson in his original account conjectured that this double circle, and that which 
had been turned up and destroyed the previous year, were two druidical temples or 
oratories ; but the smallness of both almost precludes this idea being entertained. 
He is now we believe, and this seems the most likely idea, of opinion that they were 
places of sepulture ; and it may be of some of the druids. That they are very ancient 
cannot be questioned, as they appear gradually to have been covered by the soil 
washed down from the upper part of the hill. The one preserved is a very inte- 
resting object of antiquarian research, and well worth the attention of those skilled 
in Druidical or old British antiquities. A very correct idea of this remain will be 
formed from the engraving plate I. Celtic antiquities. A. Fig. 1. is the outer circle B 
the inner circle, C the circular stone in the centre, and D the carved stone under which 
the bones and ashes were found. Fig. 2. is the carved stones on a larger scale, in which 
the hieroglyphics are more distinctly shown. 



I. The parish of Flisk lies upon the banks of the Tay, to the north of the parishes of 
Creich and Abdie. Occupying the northern slope of the Ochills, a considerable por- 
tion of its surface is hilly and irregular, except near the river, where there is a narrow- 
stripe of level ground, along the whole extent of the parish. Flisk is bounded on the 
south by Creich and Abdie, on the east by Balmerino, on the north by the Tay, and on 
the west by Dunbog. It is rather more than four miles in length, from east to west ; 
but is only about a mile in breadth, except at the western extremity, where its breadth 
is about one and a half miles. There are no turnpike roads in the parish, but there are 
five miles 740 yards of statute labour roads, besides country roads. The parish is en- 
tirely a rural one, there being no villages, nor any manufactures carried on within it. 
There are only three heritors, none of whom are resident : the right lion, the Earl of 
Zetland, proprietor of the barony of Ballanbreich ; John Whyte Melville,Esq., of Benno- 
chy, proprietor of Pittachop; and Joseph Murray, Esq., of Ayton, proprietor of Glen- 
duckie. Cupar, which is eight miles distant, is the post town ; and Newburgh, only 
betwcen two and three miles distant, is the nearest market town. 

II. The barony of Ballanbreich, or as it is usually pronounced, Bambreich, originally 
formed part of the great lordship of Abernethy, held by Orm the son of Hugh, who 
flourished under the reign of Malcolm IV. His son Laurence, who took the name of 
Abernethy from his lands, gave to the canons regular of the priory of St Andrews, ten 
shillings yearly, payable out of his lands of Ballanbreich ; with consent of Sir Patrick 
Abernethy, his son and heir.* This Sir Patrick died before his father; but he left three 
sons, the eldest of whom, Hugh, succeeded his grandfather in the lordship of Aber- 
nethy. Hugh appears to have been a nobleman of great power and influence during 
the latter prut of the reign of Alexander III., and the interregnum which followed the 
death of that monarch. He had no male issue, and his extensive possessions were di- 
vided among his three daughters ; the eldest of whom was married to John Stewart, 
Earl of Angus ; the second to Sir David Lindsay, ancestor of the Earls of Crawford ; 
and the third, Mary, to Sir Andrew de Lesly, ancestor of the Earls of Rothes. By 
this last marriage, Sir Andrew de Lesly acquired the barony of Ballanbreich, and other 
lands, and quartered the arms of Abernethy with his own.t He was one of the Magnates 

* Chart, of St Andrews, D. 

+ Sir William Abernethy of Salton, the second son of Sir Patrick Abernethy, and uncle of Mary 
Abernethy was the instigator of the murder of Duncan Earl of Fife, who, in 1283, was assassinated 
at Pitpollock, (Pitullock in the parish of Arngask?) by Sir Patrick Abernethy and Sir Walter Percy, 
■while Sir William himself lay in wait to have intercepted him, had he taken another road. — Vol. i. 
p. --8. 


Scotire who, in 1320, subscribed the letter to the Pope asserting the independence of 
Scotland. This extensive barony remained for nearly 500 years in the family of Rothes, 
and was purchased from them by the late Sir Lawrence Dundas, grandfather of the 
present proprietor. 

The castle of Bambreich, which stands near the western extremity of the parish, is a 
large and very fine ruin, picturesquely situated on a steep bank overhanging the river 
Tay, surrounded by a number of fine trees ; and forms a noble object in the landscape as 
seen in sailing up or down the Tay. It appears originally to have been a large paral- 
lelogram 180 feet in length, by 70 in breadth, inclosing a court yard in the centre. 
Three of the sides were formed by the buildings of the castle, which were four stories 
high ; while the fourth side of the court yard was formed by a high wall or curtain, con- 
necting the north and south sides of the castle together. The whole of the doors to the 
different parts of the building opened into the court yard ; and the principal entrance to 
the whole seems to have been on the north. When inhabited, it was surrounded by a 
ditch or moat, the traces of which, though pretty distinct some years ago, arc now nearly 
effaced. This once magnificent castle, has suffered sad ravages from time, but greater 
still from the depredations of man ; as it long formed a convenient quarry for those who 
had buildings to erect, either in its own neighbourhood, or on the opposite banks of the 
Tav. This system of destruction has, however, been put a stop to, and although pro- 
bahlv about a third of the structure has been destroyed, there is sufficient remaining of 
its original height, to show what its extent and grandeur once was. The view i;ivenin 
the engraving is taken from the inside of the court yard, and gives a much better idea 
of this noble ruin than mere verbal description can do. \ 

There is no date on any part of the ruins, from which the period of its erection can 
be ascertained; but the probability is, and this is strengthened by the appearance of the 
ruins, that it was not erected all at one time. The oldest portion appears to be that 
which forms the western side of the parallelogram, and the southern side, although 
much dilapidated, to be the most recent. From the beauty of the ashler w r ork of the 
walls remaining, it is not likely that any portion is as ancient as the time when the 
barony was acquired by Sir Andrew de Lcsly ; yet the oldest portion cannot be much 
more recent. The only conjecture as to the erection of any portion of the building 
which we have been aide to form, is drawn from the date and initials on an iron plate 
in the possession of the Rev. Mr Thomson, Balmerino, and which formed the door- 
plate on the entrance to the castle. The initials are "A. E. R.," Andrew Earl of Rothes ; 
and the date is 1572. This was Andrew, fifth Earl of Rothes, second son of George 
the fourth Earl ; and who succeeded to the earldom on the death of his father, in con- 
sequence of the forfeiture of his elder brother Norman, Master of Rothes, for his con- 
nection with the murder of Cardinal Bethune. Although a considerable portion of the 
castle is of a much older date than the period of this Earl, it is most probable that he 
made large additions to it about the period of the date on the door-plate. 


Glenduckie, the property of Mr Murray of Ayton, is situated to the south west of Bal- 
lanbreich. Previous to 1185 it belonged to the Earls of Fife; but about that period it, 
with the lands of Balmadethy in Forfarshire, was exchanged by Duncan, the fifth in 
descent from Macduff, with Orm the son of Hugh, already mentioned, for the lands of 
Dunloppie in Forfarshire, and Balbrennie (Balbirnie) in Fife. The deed of excam- 
bion was confirmed by William the Lion. During the reign of James IV., it came to 
be the property of Aiton of Aiton, with whom it remained till purchased by the ances- 
tor of the present proprietor. The only other separate property in the parish is, as 
already mentioned, Pittachop, belonging to Mr Whyte Melville of Bennochy. It is sit- 
uated towards the south-eastern part of the parish. 

II. The church of Flisk was anciently a parsonage, the patronage of which was 
laic and pertained to the earldom of Rothes. Besides the parish church, there was also 
a chapel in the parish, the site of which is now lost ; but it was in all likelihood within 
the castle of Ballanbreich. Indeed the northern portion of the west side of the building 
has much the appearance as if it had been the chapel ; and we know that places of 
worship are not unfrequently to be met with in old castles. The situation of the 
present church at the east end of the parish, is rather inconvenient ; and some of the 
inhabitants are nearer the church of Dunbog than their own church. The manse and 
offices are in excellent condition, and beautifully situated, not far from the Tay. There 
are also a good glebe and garden. The stipend is : wheat, 1 1 bolls, 2 firlots, 1 peck, 2 
lippies ; bear, 58 bolls, 3 firlot, 3 lippies ; oats, 97 bolls, 2 firlots, 1 peck, 2 lippies ; 
and £8 13s. lOd. sterling in money. The present incumbent is the Rev. George Mar- 
shall; the patron, the Earl of Zetland. There is no dissenting chapel in the parish; 
and the few dissenters who reside in it, attend worship at Newburgh or Rathillet. 

John Waddell parson of Flisk, was one of the early judges of the Court of Session. 
His name first appears as a judge in the Sederunt of Court, 8th May, 1534. Little else 
is known of this clergyman, except that he was in 1527, rector of the university of St 
Andrews, and as such one of the judges who condemned Patrick Hamilton to death. 
We have already mentioned James Balfour, his successor in the parsonage of Flisk, 
(page 59), who was also a judge of the Court of Session, under the title of Lord Pitten- 
dreich. It is pleasing to turn from such times and such individuals, to more modern 
times, and to the mention of one who adorned the pulpit, and has distinguished himself 
in very different pursuits from those which occupied the attention of the elder clergy- 
men of Flisk we have mentioned. The Rev. John Fleming, D.D., one of the most em- 
inent of our Scottish naturalists, was for a long time minister of Flisk ; and in the quiet 
retirement of this rural parish, he ardently prosecuted the study of natural history, ex- 
tending his own fame and benefiting the public, by his various writings, which have 
appeared from time to time on this interesting and delightful branch of science. Dr 
Fleming was appointed to the chair of Natural Philosophy in King's College, Aberdeen, 
a situation which he was eminently qualified to fill, and which he still continues to 
occupy and adorn, with his varied talent. 


The parish school is situated near the manse, where the usual branches of education 
are taught. The teacher has the legal allowances, and the school fees are moderate ; 
and considering the smallness of the population, there is a fair attendance of pupils. 
There is no legal assessment for the poor ; but as the number requiring assistance is 
small, the ordinary means of supply has been found sufficient. 

IV. This parish, with the exception of Moonzie and Dunbog, contains the smallest 
population of any in Fife. Indeed, there are only ten parishes in all Scotland, 
whose population is less: two in Berwickshire; four in the shire of Peebles; one in 
Forfarshire; one in East Lothian ; and the two already mentioned in Fife. In 1756, 
the return to Dr Webster was 318; but in 1792, when the Statistical Account was 
published, it was 331. Since that time, the population has varied ; but ultimately it has 
decreased. In 1801, it was 300; in 1811, 31S; in 1821, -301; and in 1831, it had 
decreased to 286. The analysis of the return in 1831 is as follows: — 

.Males, 20 years of age, 7(5; total males, M0; females, 146 ; total, 286. 

Families employed in agriculture, 40 ; ditto in trade or handicraft, 17 ; other families, 3 ; total 

families, 60. 
Persons occupying land employing labourers, 7; labourers employed in agriculture, 38. 
Persons employed in manufacture, 13 ; employed in handicraft, as master or workman, 4. 
Professional and other educated men, 2. 

Labourers employed in labour not agricultural, 11 ; female servants, 23. 
Inhabited houses, GO ; uninhabited, 8. 

V. The soil of the parish of Flisk is very fertile ; and from its situation on the de- 
clivity of the Ochils, towards the Tay, a complete system of drainage has been easily 
effected. " About twelve or fifteen years ago," says the Rev. William Gourlay, in the 
Statistical Account, * " there was very little wheat sown ; but now, (1792) they sow 
one year with another, 150 bolls, in the extent of one, or two and twenty ploughs of 
land. As the barony lands in this parish are upon the Tay, the farmers have their 
barley, which is esteemed very good, shipped off in cargoes to other places ; but before 
the demand from the distilleries, &c, they often found it difficult to procure a market 
for their grain. They have now got thrashing mills introduced, which will forward 
their operations not a little." The system of husbandry now is the same as that 
already described as being followed throughout this district of Fife ; and wheat and 
barley take their regular place in the rotation. No difficulty is now found in obtain- 
ing a market for produce, as the farmers visit regularly the market at Cupar, and the 
weekly stock market at Xewburgh ; and have easy access by the steam-boat from the 
latter place to Perth and Dundee. There are now seven thrashing mills in the parish, 
all driven by horses ; but although one of the farms is named Flisk Miln, the miln 

* Vol. II. p. 253. 


has been discontinued as unnecessary, and there is now no corn miln in the parish. 
The farms are all large, the steadings and offices well built and convenient, and the 
lands generally divided by fences. Anciently, a considerable portion of the parish 
seems to have been occupied by a forest, called Flisk wood, which no doubt formed 
a continuation of the forest of Earnside ; but of this all vestiges are now removed. 
The annual value of the real property for which this parish was assessed in 1815, was 
£2, 82CT sterling. The valued rent is £3,233, 16, 8 Scots. 



I. Xorth of Collcssie, and west of Dunbog, lies the parish of Abdie, the form and 
boundary of which are as irregular and diversified as its surface. By the intersection 
of the parishes of Dunbog on the east, and Newburgh on the west, Abdie has been separ- 
ated into three distinct divisions, the largest of which is that in the centre, where the 
church is situated. This portion is bounded by Collessie on the south, by Monimail 
and Dunbog on the east, partly by the frith of Tay, and partly by Newburgh on the 
north, and by Newburgh on the west. At the east end it is nearly four miles in length 
from north to south, but at the west end it is only about two and a half; while its 
average breadth is scarcely two miles. Lying amid the range of the Ochils, a great part 
of its surface is a continued succession of hill and valley ; and though there is still 
much room for planting wood on the summits of many of the hills, the woods which 
surround the mansions of Inchrye, Kinnaird, and Lindores, already add greatly to the 
beauty of the portion of the parish where they are situated. In approaching New- 
burgh, Clatchartcraig, with its abrupt precipitous front rising from the narrow pass 
which it seems to guard, is an object of particular interest ; but it might be rendered 
more picturesque were its base and summit planted with trees. The finest feature, 
however, in the landscape of the parish is the loch of Lindores, with the sloping hills 
which rise from its southern and western shores, and the woods of Inchrye and Lindores 
which ornament it on the east and north. It is a beautiful sheet of water situated 
about the middle of this division of the parish. It covers an area of about 70 acres, 
and is in some places about 20 feet deep. Not only, however, does it form an inter- 
esting feature in the landscape ; but it affords delightful amusement to the gentle- 
men of the neighbourhood, who have liberty from the proprietor to fish or shoot 
upon it ; as it abounds in perch, pike, and eel, and is frequented by ducks, teals, and 

The western portion of the parish which is about a mile in length, by the same in 
breadth, is more than a mile distant from the centre division, and is surrounded by the 
parishes of Dunbog, Creich, and Flisk. Here the Ochils attain the highest elevation they 
reach in the whole of their range, through the northern portion of the county of Fife ; 
the greater part of this isolated portion of the parish of Abdie being occupied by the 
hill called Norman's law, which is 850 feet above the level of the sea. It commands a 
most extensive view to the north, embracing the river and frith of Tay, Strathern and the 
Carse of Gowrie, while to the south and east, the whole valley of the Eden, lies extended 


below the spectator. The western division of the parish which is cut off by New burgh 
is very small, being scarcely a mile in length by half a mile in breadth. It lies high 
among the hills on the borders of Perthshire, and is bounded by part of Abernethy 
parish in that shire, and the parish of Newburgh. Here there is another small lake 
called Loch Mill, the stream from which flows to the south, and falls into the Eden a short 
way to the south east of Auchtermuchty. There are three villages in the parish, Lin- 
dores, Glcnburnie, and Grange, which are all within half a mile of the parish church. 
Besides these, in the immediate vicinity of Newburgh, a great many houses have been 
recently erected, forming a suburb to that town. There are six miles, 790 yards of 
turnpike roads ; and five miles, 1160 yards of statute labour roads in the parish. The 
heritors are David Maitland Macgill, Esq. of Rankeilour, proprietor of Grange ; Joseph 
Murray, Esq. of Ayton; the right honourable the Earl of Zetland, proprietor of Park- 
hill; D. Wilson, Esq. of Inchrye; Thomas Watt, Esq. of Denmiln; Henry Buist, Esq. 
of Berryhole; John Pitcairn, Esq. of Kinnaird; Francis Balfour, Esq. of Fernie; 
Charles Moyes, Esq. of Lumbenny; and Admiral Sir F. L. Maitland of Lindores. Of 
these Mr Wilson, Mr Buist, and Mr Pitcairn are the only resident proprietors. 

II. Near the north eastern extremity of the parish, and at no great distance from 
the Tay is Parkhill, which belonged of old to the earls of Fife, and at their forfeiture 
in the reign of James I. came to the crown. On the 24th March, 1.137, a charter of 
the king's lands of Parkhill in Fife, was granted in favour of John Lesley designed rector 
of Kvnnore, brother-german of George third Earl of Rothes. He was taken prisoner 
at the rout of Solway in 1542 ; but obtained his liberty the following year on payment 
of a ransom of 200 merks sterling. This person's memory has acquired a bad notoriety 
from his being, with his nephew Norman Lesley, one of the leaders of the party who 
murdered Cardinal Beaton ; and for his accession to which he was forfeited on the 
14th August, 1546. It is supposed to have been on the lands of Parkhill, then part of 
the forest of Earnside, that Sir William Wallace fought the battle of Black Earnside 
in 1300, with the English, in which 3000 of the latter were killed, and 500 taken 

To the south of Parkhill is Denmiln, also belonging to the earls of Fife, and which 
came to the crown at their forfeiture. James II. in the fourteenth year of his reign, 
1451, gave these lands to his beloved and familiar servant James Balfour, son of Sir 
John Balfour of Balgarvie, knight. James Balfour was slain at the siege of Roxburgh, 
shortly after the death of James II., as appears from a charter granted by James III. 
in favour of John Balfour his son. This John married Christian, daughter of Peter 
Sibbald of Rankeilour, and inheriting his fathers warlike spirit and valour, he fell with 
his sovereign James IV., at the battle of Flodden in 1513. Patrick his son, was father 
of Alexander, whose son Sir Michael Balfour was equally distinguished for military 
braverv and civil prudence. He was knighted at Holyroodhouse in March, 1630; and 
was comptroller of the household to Charles I. He left five sons, all of whom were 


distinguished in one way or other in their day. The eldest son, Sir James Balfour, 
was knighted by Charles I, in 1630; and created a baronet in 1633. In June, 1630, 
he was made Lord Lyon-King-at-Arms ; and was often employed by the king on pub- 
lic affairs. During the civil war, as he was inclined to the king's party, and was viewed 
with a hostile eye by the opposite party, he retired for a time from public life, and at 
Falkland, or at his own house of Kinnaird in this parish, prosecuted his favourite 
studies in antiquities and heraldry. He was deprived of his office of Lord Lyon dur- 
ing the usurpation of Cromwell. 

Sir James possessed very superior talents, and these he had cultivated with great 
assiduity, both at home and on the continent. During his retirement, he collected 
many manuscripts on heraldry ; and composed several original treatises on the subject, 
several of which are still preserved in the Advocates' Library. He wrote Annals of 
Scotland, which were published in 1825, from the manuscript in the Advocates' Lib- 
rary, by Mr Ilaig ; and he made extensive contributions to Font's great work on 
Scotland. He also wrote various treatises on the history, geography, and antiquities 
of Scotland. He died in February, 1657.* The descendants of Sir James continued 
long to possess this property of Denmiln ; but it is believed the family is now entirely 
extinct in the male line. It is represented, however, by the right honourable Lord 
Belhaven, as heir of line. The complete extinction of this family is the more remark- 
able, as it is stated by Sir Robert Sibbald, that Sir Michael lived to see 300 of his 
own issue, while Sir Andrew, his youngest son, saw T 600 descendants from his father, f 
The lands were purchased by the brother of thepresent proprietor from the present 
Duchess of Portland, when Marchioness of Titchfield. The house of Denmiln, which 
was erected in 1670, is now a complete ruin. It is situated on the side of the road to 
Newburgh, nearly opposite to Clatchartcraig. In the aisle of the old church of Abdie, 
are two mural tablets, with Latin inscriptions, which have been erected to the memory 
of Sir James Balfour,| and his father Sir Michael; and here, or in the adjoining 
churchyard, they were both interred. 

South and west of Denmiln is Lindores, which, with a strong castle, standing once 
near the loch, belonged to David Barclay, lord of Brechin, who married Margaret de 

* Annals of Scotland, Vol. I., Prefatory Memoir, p. 31. 

f The late of tho last baronet of Denmiln is equally remarkable. He set out on horseback from 
his own house to pay a visit, ami neither man nor horse was ever again heard of. It is supposed 
he perished in some of the lochs or marshes with which Fife till almost recently abounded. Shortly 
after his disappearance, Denmiln was purchased by General Scott of Balcomie, the father of the 
Duchess of Portland. 

} The following is a translation of that of Sir James: " Sir James Balfour of Denmiln, Knight 
Baronet, Lyon King-at-anns, beloved and regretted, as an example of due honour and probity, richly 
furnished with all kinds of learning, whether of a graver or more entertaining cast,a learned and dili- 
gent antiquarian, highly favoured by the Muses and Graces, died 10th February, Ju'37, aged 53." 


Brechin, sister of David Brechin, Lord Brechin, and was murdered at Aberdeen in 
13S1. Lindores afterwards belonged to the earls of Fife ; and after their forfeiture in 
1424, a part of them belonged to Andrew de Valoniis.* These lands came next into 
possession of the family of Rothes, and were gifted by Andrew, fifth Earl of Rothes, to 
Sir James Macgill, of Nether Rankeilour, for good services, who had a charter of the 
lands of "Auld Lindores," fc 10th February, 155S — 9.t The castle of Lindores re- 
mained long the residence of the descendants of Sir James ; but after the erection of 
the house of Nether Rankeilour, it was allowed to go to ruin. It is supposed it was 
to this castle of Lindores, as we are told by Harry the minstrel, that Wallace retired 
with his followers, after the battle of Black Earnside ; or it may have been to the still 
more ancient castle, the vestiges of which are to be traced near the village of Lindores, 
which belonged to the earls of Fife. We are informed by the Annals of Ulster, that 
a battle was fought at Lindores in (321 ; while Cineoch, the son of Luthrin, was king 
of the Picts. 

A small portion of the lands of Lindores, near the loch, belongs now to Admiral Sir 
Frederick Lewis Maitland, the third son of the honourable Frederick Lewis Maitland, 
who married the heiress of Rankeilour and Lindores. | He was a captain in the roval 
navy in 1801, and signalised himself highly, when commander of the Loire frigate from 
1803 to 1806, particularly in Muros bay, 4th June, 1805. When captain of the Bel- 
lerophon, he received Bonaparte on board his ship, at the conclusion of the late war 
with France ; and by his vigilance and care, prevented the escape of that extraordinary 
man from the Basque roads. He has published an interesting account of the conduct 
of the French emperor and his suite, when on board his ship. As a naval officer, he has 
always borne the highest character for intrepidity and skill ; and when at home, we 
are assured he was always attentive to every scheme of public utility. On the portion 
of the lands belonging to him, he has erected a house, which, however, his public 
avocations have not allowed him for some time to inhabit. With the exception of this 
small part of the lands, Lindores is now the property of David Maitland Macgill, Esq. 
of Nether Rankeilour, the representative of the family.* 

South-east from Lindores is Inchrye, the property of David Wilson, Esq. Here a 
most magnificent mansion has been erected at a cost of about £12,000, which is un- 
questionably one of the finest in Fife. It is in the Elizabethan, or Manorial style of 
architecture, and stands in a beautiful park, surrounded with young but rising wood. 
From every height in the neighbourhood, this fine house is a beautiful object, and 
from the public roads, fine glimpses of it are obtained, especially from that bv Trafal- 
gar inn to Newburgh, where, with its lawns and woods, it has a most delightful effect. 
The view given in the engraving shows the architecture and situation of this splendid 
edifice. Immediately south-west of Inchrye is Cairniehall, also the property of David 
Wilson, Esq., anciently the patrimonial estate of David Barclay, Lord of Brechin, who 

* Sibbald, p. 409. t Douglas Peerage, Vol. II. p. 315. J See page 105. § lb. 


from his lands of Cairnev and Old Lindores, save, with consent of his wife, Margaret 
Brechin, a right of fishing in pure alms to the monks of Balmerino.* 

East of Denmiln, and north of Inchrye, is Kinnaird, the property of John Pitcairn, 
Esq. Sibbald describes the house as a large new house, the seat of Sir George St Clair. 
This large new house has now entirely disappeared, and a modern hou ' smaller 
dimensions, has been erected by the present proprietor. Anciently Kinnaird belonged 
to David, Earl of Huntingdon, and in the twelfth year of the reign of William the Lyon, ■ 
it was disponed by him to Gilbert, Earl of Strathern, his cousin, who founded the mo- 
nastery of Inchaffery. Malise, fifth Earl of Strathern, with consent of Malise his son, 
afterwards sixth earl, gave them in puram ct perpetuam m, to the nunnery 

of Elcho, during the reign of Alexander II. In the time of James V., Magdalen, pri- 
oress of Elcho, feued them to Alexander Leslie, whose granddaughter and heiress 
married James Baron, merchant, in Edinburgh, who thus acquired the lands. Of this 
family were two learned doctors of divinity, John and Robert Baron. The son of Mr 
Baron disponed the lands to Sir Michael Balfour, of Denmiln, the father of Sir James 
Balfour, the Lord Lyon. Sir James was during his father's life invested with the 
lands of Kinnaird, as he was always designed of Kinnaird, and seems to have had 
his principal residence there. 

South of Lindores are the lands and loch of Woodmiln, which, when Sibbald wrote, 
belonged to Mr James Arnot, the lineal representative of Sir John Arnot, of Berwick, 
provost of Edinburgh, and treasurer-depute to King James VI. " The loch," says 
Sibbald, " has pikes and eels, and the biggest perches of any loch in this country." 
Woodmiln was afterwards the property of Colonel William Simpson, of Pitcorthy ; 
and now belongs to David Wilson, Esq. On the west side of Lindores loch, and a 
little way south of the Manse is Berryhill, formerly the property of a family of the 
name of Spence, now of Henry Buist, Esq. 

In the eastern division of the parish, which is separated by Dunbog, we have first 
Ayton, the property of Francis Murray, Esq. Anciently these lands were called 
Nether Denmuir ;t and with the lands of Over Denmuir, still called Denmuir, were 
the property of a very ancient family called Dundemore, or Dunmore, of that ilk. 
Stephen de Dundemore, a son of this family, first a canon of Glasgow, was chan- 
cellor of that see, and was elected bishop in 1317. He was a great enemy to the 
English interest in Scotland, and in consequence Edward II. wrote to the pope to pre- 
vent hi ion to the office. j He is supposed never to have been consecrated, and 
to have died on his way to Rome, where the interference of the English king had ren- 
dered it necessary for him to proceed. In a charter of King Robert Bruce, he is styled 

* Nisbet, Vol. II. part III. p. 81. 
t More propel . more, greal Tori, from the fort on the lop of Norman Law, at the base of 

which hill the house of Den ir tbod. 

Keith's Scottish Bishops p. 242. 


the kind's chamberlain, but he is omitted by Crawford in his lives of the officers of 
state, nor is he mentioned by Sibbald, in his list of natives of Fife who had filled the 
higher offices of state under the Scottish kings. Another of this family, Thomas de 
Dundumore, was bishop of Ross, in 1309; and, with the other Scottish bishops, that 
year recognised the title of Robert Bruce to the crown.* 

James IV., in 1507, disponed the west half of Denmuir, or Nether Denmuir, to 
Andrew Ayton, captain of the castle of Stirling, a son of the family of Ayton, of Ayton, 
in Berwickshire, " pro bono et fideli servitio." The family of Ayton were descended 
from Gilbert de Vescy, one of the great Norman family of that name, who getting the 
lands of Ayton in Berwickshire, adopted the name of the lands as his family name. 
The principal family ended in an heiress, who, in the reign of James III., married 
George Hume, a son of the house of Hume, who thus acquired the original lands of 
Ayton. In consequence of this, Andrew Ayton above-mentioned, who was uncle of the 
heiress of Ayton, obtained a new charter of the lands of Nether Denmuir, in which they 
were named Ayton, and the Fifeshire branch of the family were afterwards styled Ayton 
of Ayton. Sir John Ayton of that ilk left two sons, Robert and Andrew. Robert, the 
eldest, succeeded to the estates of his uncle, Robert, Lord Colville, of Ochiltree, and in 
consequence assumed the name of Colville, being styled Robert Colville of Craigflower. 
The second son, Andrew, was a merchant in Glasgow, of which city he became lord 
provost. He built a large house, surrounded by a garden, near the High-street, the 
site of which, now occupied by public works, is still called Ayton Court. About the 
commencement of the last century, the lands of Ayton were acquired by Patrick Mur- 
ray, Esq. second son of Sir Patrick Murray, the second baronet of Ochtertyre, and 
from him the present proprietor, Mr Murray, is descended. North of Ayton is Over 
Denmuir, also the property of Mr Murray. This property, as already mentioned, 
formed part of the estate of the Dunmores of that ilk, but had afterwards fallen 
to the crown. It was gifted by James III. to James Paterson, his servitor, and in 
his family it continued till a comparatively recent date. Sibbald describes the house 
as "a new house, the scat of Mr George Paterson." 

In the western division of the parish, which is separated by Newburgh, is Lumbenny, 
the property of Charles Moves, Esq. This gentleman is remarkable for his great age, 
being considerably above ninety years of age, and still able to attend to his affairs. 
His brother was the well known Dr Henry Moves, who lost his eye-sight by the small- 
pox, but notwithstanding attained great proficiency in almost every branch of liberal 
knowledge. He traversed the country as a lecturer on chemistry and natural philoso- 
phy; and what is rather remarkable, his favourite subjects were optics and the phenomena 
of light and colours. These he illustrated with propriety and success, notwithstanding 
the bereavement under which he laboured. He acquired a considerable fortune, 

* Keith's Scottish Bishops, p. 187. 


which he bequeathed chiefly to his brother. These lands were at one time the pro- 
perty of Alexander Balfour, the second son of Sir Michael Balfour, of Denmiln, and 
brother of Sir James, the Lord Lyon. " He was," says Sibbald, in his Memoria 
Balfouriana, " a minister of the gospel, a man not more respected for the dignity of 
his appearance than for the wisdom and piety of his life." * He was minister of the 
parish of Abdie. 

III. The church of Abdie belonged at one time to the monastery of Lindores. The 
old church standing on the western shore of Lindores loch is now in ruins, and a new 
one has been erected on a site a little to the north. It was built in 1827, from a de- 
sign by Mr Burn of Edinburgh, at a cost of £1200 sterling. It is a plain substantial 
structure, seated to accommodate from 500 to 600 persons.! The number of commu- 
nicants is 300 ; the minister's roll of examinable persons 500. The manse was built 
in 1721, and has much need to be renewed; the offices however are new. The glebe 
consists of four acres, and the grass glebe of six acres. The stipend is 120 bolls meal, 
120 bolls barley, and £S 6s. Sd. sterling of money for communion elements, and a 
vicarage tiend amounting to £10 4s. 2d. sterling. The present incumbent is the 
Rev. Laurence Miller ; the patron the Right Honourable the Earl of Mansfield. There 
are only four or five dissenting families, who are seceders, in the parish. 

In 1590, the Rev. Mr John Wemyss was admitted minister of Abdie, and in 1592 
he was appointed principal of St Leonard's College, St Andrews- In 1622, the Rev. 
Andrew Murray was admitted minister here ; and in 1631, on the death of Sir David 
Murray of Gospertie, first Viscount Stormont, he succeeded to the baronies of Arngask 
and Kippo. He was knighted at the coronation of Charles I. in 1633 ; and had a 
charter of the lands of Pitlochie, 1636, " Domino Andrea? Murray de Balvaird militi." 
He was a member of the General Assembly which met at Glasgow in 1638, of which 
the Rev. Alexander Henderson was moderator, and by his authority, moderation, and 
sound judgment assisted greatly in allaying the heats and differences which arose in 
that meeting, in consequence of which he was favourably represented to his majesty by 
the Marquis of Hamilton, lord high commissioner on that occasion. He was outed 
from the church of Abdie the same year, in consequence of the moderation of his 

* The third son of this talented family, was Michael of Randerston, who was eminently distin- 
guished for his experience and skill in matters of agriculture. The fourth son was Sir David of 
Forret, of whom we have already spoken in our account of the parish of Logie (p. 49) ; and the fifth 
and youngest son, was Sir Andrew Balfour, M.D., who was eminently distinguished as a naturalist, 
a physician, and general scholar. The merits of Sir Andrew arc not only commemorated by Sir Ro- 
bert Sibbald, in his Meraoria Balfouriana, and in his preface to Sir Andrew's letters, which he pub- 
lished ; but also by Professor John Walker in his Essays on Natural History - . 

t The inscription on tlic church bell is" Joannes Burgherhuys me fecit, 1671. Soli Deo Gloria. 
Air Alexander Balfour minister there of the parish of Ebdie." This was the brother of Sir James 
Balfour, the Lord Lyon. 



opinions. Charles I. was pleased, 1641, to raise him to the dignity of the peerage, by 
the title of Lord Balvaird. On the death of Mungo Murray, second Viscount Stor- 
mont, he succeeded to the lands, lordship, and barony of Stormont. 

His eldest son David, second Lord Balvaird, succeeded, on the death of James, 
Earl of Annandale, third Viscount Stormont, in 1658, to that title, and became fourth 
viscount. The Honourable James Murray, M.D., the third son of the first Lord Bal- 
vaird, was a physician of great reputation and learning. The fourth son, Sir John 
Murray of Drumcairnie, was nominated a lord of session in October, 1681, and 
was one of the commissioners for the county of Perth in the Parliaments of 1685 
and 1686. By the royal commissioner he was appointed one of the lords of the 
articles in April, 1686 ; and in July, 1687, he was appointed a lord of justiciary, but 
lost all his offices at the revolution in 1688. The Honourable William Murray, the 
fifth son, was a member of the faculty of advocates, and became very eminent in his 

The Honourable William Murray, great grandson of Lord Balvaird, studied for the 
English bar, and became one of the brightest ornaments of that bar, as he was subse- 
quently of the bench. He was called to the bar in 1730. He acquired the friendship 
of Pope, under whom he studied elocution, and who, on more occasions than one, 
proclaimed the merits of the young lawyer in his deathless verse. After a brilliant 
career at the bar, and in the House of Commons, he was, in 175(5, raised to the office of 
chief justice of the court of King's Bench, where he presided with unrivalled reputa- 
tion for thirty-two years. At the time of his being raised to the bench, he was created 
a peer, under the title of Baron Mansfield, in the county of Nottingham ; and in 1776 
he was created Earl of Mansfield. On two occasions he held the office of chancellor 
of the exchequer for a short period, viz., in 1757 and 1767; and on three several 
occasions he refused the office of lord chancellor, which was offered to him. He re- 
tired from the bench in 1778, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, on which occasion 
a most affectionate address from the bar was transmitted to him by the Honourable 
Thomas Erskine, afterwards Lord Erskine. He was, in 1792, created Earl of Mans- 
field, in the county of Middlesex, with remainder to his nephew, the son of his elder 
brother, David, seventh Lord Stormont; and dying in 1793, he was succeeded by 
that nobleman in the title of Earl of Mansfield. 

The parish school is attended by about 30 scholars in summer, and about from 40 
to 50 in winter ; but many of the children attend the schools at Newburgh, Dunbog, 
and Collessie, as being nearer their places of residence than the parish school. The 
schoolmaster has the maximum salary, with dwelling-house and school-house. The 
fees are, for reading, 2s. per quarter ; writing, 2s. 6d. ; and arithmetic, 3s. The 
teacher's whole income may be £50 per annum. There is also a female school, taught 
by a female. 

In 1836, the number of poor on the roll was 12 ; the average number is about 8, 


who are supported from the interest of £320 saved by the session, a small mortifica- 
tion, the collections at the church door amounting to £14 per annum, and a small 
voluntary assessment contributed by the heritors. The whole poor are usually main- 
tained for about £50 per annum. £200 of the poor's money was unfortunately lost a 
few years ago, by the failure of the persons in whose hands it had been placed at in- 

IV. The population of the parish in 1755, was, according to Dr Webster's account, 
822. No census was again taken till the general one in 1S01 ; but in 1789, the minis- 
ter's roll of all ages was 494. The cause of this decrease is stated to have been 
occasioned by the principal heritors becoming non-resident, and from the enlarge- 
ment of the farms, and the diminished number of cottages. The population has again 
increased ; but it has not hitherto greatly exceeded what it was in 1755. In 1801 it 
was 723 ; in 1811, 768 ; in 1821, 834 ; and in 1831, 870. The following is the govern- 
ment analysis of the census in 1S31 : — 

Males 20 years of age 204; total males, 428 ; females, 444; total, 870. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 70 ; ditto, in trade, manufacture, and handicraft, 
' ; all other families not comprised in the foregoing, fi(> ; total families, ISO. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers, 18; ditto, not employing labourers, 4; labourers em- 
ployed in agriculture, 77. 

Persons employed in manufacture, 33; ditto, in retail trade, or in handicraft, as masters or 
workmen, 31 ; labourers employed in labour not agricultural, 2S. 

Professional or other educated men, 6 ; all other males 20 years of age (except servants), 3. 

Male servants 20 years of age, 4; female servants, '. 

Inhabited houses, 169; uninhabited, 6. 

From the number of houses which have recently been erected on the hill at the 
back of Newburgh, within this parish, a considerable increase will appear in the census 
of 1841, both of the inhabitants and of inhabited houses within the parish. 

V. Like its surface, the soil of this parish is very varied. In the lower part of the 
parish, near the Tay, there is a tract of rich alluvial land of the same quality with the 
Carse of Cowrie, on the opposite shore; on the higher grounds it is in some places a 
deep black earth, in others light and gravelly ; but in both very productive, an acre at 
an average producing from seven to ten bolls. The upper portions of the mountains 
are still in pasture, and likely to remain so, except where wood has been planted. 
The quantity of imperial acres cultivated or occasionally in tillage, is 6096 ; waste or 
in pasture, 1528 ; under wood, 300. The farms are about 20 in number, of various 
sizes, their rents varying from £1200 to £100 sterling per annum, which is paid partly 
in money and partly according to the fiar price of grain. The leases are for the usual 
period of 19 years. In consequence of the improved mode of cultivation, and the 
draining and bringing in of waste land, the quantity of grain raised is greater by one- 
third than it was in 1792, when the first Statistical Account was published. The farm- 


steadings are all excellent, and most of them of recent erection. The average yearly 
value of raw produce raised in the parish, as nearly as can he ascertained, is, grain, 
£14,898; potatoes and turnips, £3151 ; hay, £1719; pasture, £700; total, £20,468 
sterling. Ahout 200 horses are kept for agricultural purposes, and about 110 cows; 
the value of which may be estimated at £4880. Sheep have always been grazed on 
the uplands, and considerable pains have been taken for improving the breed ; the 
modern system of feeding off turnips with sheep has also been adopted, and success- 
fully practised. For their grain the farmers have a regular and ready market at New- 
burgh, where a weekly stock market has been established ; and for the sheep which 
are not sold in the neighbourhood, the constant communication with London affords a 
regular market in that great city. There are 20 thrashing mills in the parish, three of 
which are driven by water, and the rest by horse power. There are five corn and 
barley mills in the parish, three of which are driven by the stream which runs from 
Lindores loch ; and the other two by streams in other parts of the parish. There are 
also a mill for grinding bone dust, and a saw mill which cuts up wood to the value 
of about £1500 per annum. Both of these are driven by the stream from Lindores 

Abdie is essentially an agricultural parish, but in consequence of its neighbourhood 
to Newburgh, a considerable quantity of linen is woven for the manufacturers there. 
There are about 108 weavers, male and female, thus employed. There are also five 
smiths, three carpenters, three shoemakers, and two tailors in the parish. For a con- 
siderable time subsequent to 17S8, there were three whinstone quarries, at which from 
30 to 50 quarrymen were constantly employed, the stones being shipped at New- 
burgh for London. The quarries are still wrought, and the stones applied to local 
purposes ; but the trade to London has been long given up. When the first Statistical 
Account was published, there were two fulling and two lint mills ; but these have long 
been given up. The valued rent of the parish is £7321 Scots. The amount of real 
property assessed for the property tax in 1815, was £7904 sterling. The present rental 
of the parish is £6225 sterling. 

VI. The parish contains two ancient British forts of rather large dimensions ; one 
on the top of Norman's Law, and the other on the top of Clatchard Craig. That on 
Norman's Law is of an elliptical form, and consists of three circumvallations of rough 
stones, the inner of which is 166 feet from east to west, by 100 feet from north to 
south. The fort on Clatchard Craig* is only artificially formed on three sides, the 

* The'probable derivation of this name is Clach-ard, " the height of the stones." The adjunct Craig 
refers to the mural precipice which terminates the height on the east. This precipice is about 400 
feet high, and from the inaccessibility of its cliffs, is a favourite nesting-place for hawks, ravens, and 
other birds of prey. It is said that at one time a herd boy, who was quietly sitting near the edge of 
the cliff taking his breakfast, had his bonnet blown off, and in attempting to catch it, fell over the 
craig. He was not the least hurt, and sustained no damage but the loss of his brose cap. His mas- 


lofty mural precipice forming the defence on the east. It consists of several circum- 
vallations rudely formed of stones ; the area formed by the outermost of these walls 
measuring 250 feet from east to west, by 270 feet from north to south, and the area 
within the innermost measuring 80 feet from east to west, by 90 feet from north to 
south. Coeval with these forts are the rude clay urns, containing bones, which are 
found in various parts of Scotland. Several of these have from time to time been 
found in this parish ; in particular one was found near the foot of Clatchard Craig. It 
was of rude workmanship, contained human bones, and was inclosed within a cist-vean 
formed of stones. 

There are various other objects of antiquarian interest in this parish, though belonging 
to a much more recent period, than those we have now mentioned. Near the village of 
Lindores are the vestiges of an ancient castle, said to have been one of the residences 
of the Earls of Fife, of the line of Macduff; and " tradition," says the writer of the first 
Statistical Account, " affirms that, in the view of its being demolished, much of the plate 
and wealth of it were cast into an adjoining lake, still known by the name of the Sillar 
Lake." The old church of Abdie, now in ruins, is also a relic of the olden time. In 
the porch is still to be seen the basin in which the holv water was held; and not lono- 
ago at the east end, the steps which led to the altar still existed. In the north aisle or 
transept, are still to be seen the mural tablets erected to the memory of Sir James 
Balfour, Sir Michael his father, and others of the family of Denmiln ; the inscriptions 
on which will be found in the Appendix. About 200 yards west of the farm-steading 
of Ayton, and within a small clump of trees, are the ruins of an old chapel, 18 feet in 
length, by 1 1 in breadth, with its burying ground, which appears to have been the 
burial place of the Aytons of Ayton. On one of the walls of the chapel is a tablet, on 
which are carved four shields with coats of arms, and the date 1688. The arms on 
two of the shields are those of Ayton, argent, a cross ingrailed, cantoned with four 
roses gules. The other two shields contain the arms of the ladies, of the two lairds of 

ter, on being aware of the accident, hurried out in quest, of the boy, who, not at all impressed with 
the importance of what had happened to him, and only afraid that lie should be scolded for being at 
the bottom of the hill when his live charge was at the top, endeavoured to conceal himself, and find- 
ing that he had dropped his knife in the fall, said in accidental numbers, 

I've lost my knife, 

But I've saved my life — 
Dinna tell my master. 
An enormous basaltic column on the face of the rock, at its steepest portion, called " the Ha' Post," 
is the favourite resort of those who go in quest of the nests of the birds of prey, which fre [uent the 
rock; and several fatal accidents have occurred in consequence of the rash pursuit of this perilous 
sport. jWhat is still more remarkable, no fewer than three individuals arc now alive, who have fallen 
to the ground from the top of " the Ha' Post," a distance of 50 feet, without sustaining material in- 
jury. — Topography of the Tay, p. 40. 


Ayton here commemorated. One is the arms of Lindsay, gules, a fess cheque argent 
and azure, betwixt two stars in chief, and a hunting horn in base of the second; the 
other is three lions rampant, two in chief, one in base, but of what family we do not 
know. At Cairney-hall a chapel had also at one time existed, though no vestige of it 
now remains. Near the church is a place called the Licker Stanes, supposed to be a 
corruption of the Lecturer's Stones; and there is a field called the Lecturer's Inch. Not 
far from the Lecturer's Stones, is a rising ground called the Tiend Know, where it is 
supposed the monks of Lindores collected their tiends; and on the face of the hill be- 
hind Newburgh are two wells, one of which is called the Monk's Well, and the other 
the Abbot's Well, as having been probably often visited by these ecclesiastics. 

The Rev. Mr Small, in his work on Roman Antiquities in Fife, page 221, says, that 
about the year 1814, on the extremity of the farm of Parkhill, a considerable quantity 
of ancient silver coins, and some gold chains and bracelets, werj turned up in a vessel 
of red freestone, rudely hollowed out. The greater part of the coins adhered toge- 
ther in a mass ; but a part of them were in tolerable preservation. Mr Small says he 
had seen six of these coins, two of which were of Canute, the second Danish king who 
reigned in England. The inscription, he says, was C N V T REX A N G L. The 
chains and bracelets Mr Small had never had an opportunity of seeing. 

We have given this statement as detailed by Mr Small, but we can hardly believe it 
to be correct. That coins were found at the time and place mentioned is true, but we 
are sceptical as to their being those of the Anglo-danish king Canute, and we are not 
aware that the coins were ever examined by any one competent to judge of what they 
were. Some considerable time subsequent to this, a great many gold and silver coins 
were dug up in a field on the same lands, which are said to have been those of David 
II., and Robert II., one which appeared to be of James I., and another of one of the 
Edwards of England. 



The parish of Newburgh forms the boundary of the shire of Fife on the north- 
west. It is of very irregular form, a portion of it lying along the margir/of the river Tay; 
and the remaining portion stretching to the south across the ridge of the Ochils. The 
parish has thus something of the appearance of an ill-shaped boot, or of the letter L 
reversed. The portion which forms, as it were, the foot of the boot, or horizontal part 
of the letter L, which stretches along the Tay, is about two miles in length from east to 
west, by scarcely half a mile in breadth from north to south ; while the other portion is 
nearly three miles in length, from north to south, by three quarters of a mile in breadth 
from east to west. It is bounded on the north by the Tay, on the west, partly by^the parish 
of Abernethy, in Perthshire, and partly by Abdie, on the south by Abernethy, Auchter- 
muchty, Collessie, and Abdie, and on the east by Abdie. The northern part of the parish 
is a beautiful level along the shore of the Tay, where the town of Newburgh is situated, 
and which is finely wooded, in various parts of its surface; and the southern portion, 
which occupies the ridge of the Ochils, is an alternate series of hills and valleys, the 
former of which, in one place, Craigsparrow, rises as high as 600 feet ; and in another, 
the Blackcairn, 800 feet above the level of the sea. The parish, exclusive of the streets 
of the burgh, contains two miles, 450 yards of turnpike-road, and two miles, 830 yards 
of statute-labour roads. There are only three heritors of any extent in the parish, 
David Balfour Hay, Esq., of Randerston and Leys, proprietor of Mugdram, Taylor 
Cathcart, Esq., of Pitcairlie, and the burgh of Newburgh ; but there are about twenty 
smaller proprietors or portioners, who possess among them, altogether, about twenty- 
four imperial acres. 

II. Originally this parish formed part of the neighbouring parish of Abdie, there being 
a chapel within the burgh, which was dedicated to St Catherine ; besides the church 
of the monastery of Lindores, in the immediate neighbourhood. After the reforma- 
tion, the parishes were disjoined, by act of synodal assembly, with consent of the pa- 
tron, gentlemen of the parish, and others having interest, but without any legal sanc- 
tion. In 1632, this tacit separation was sanctioned by the commissioners for the sur- 
render of tiends ; and Newburgh was erected into a separate parish. By a subsequent 
application, a portion of the parish of Abernethy was disjoined and annexed to that of 
Newburgh. The following is the original act of separation alluded to : — " Apud 
Holyroodhouse, 3 Bo die mensis Februarii, 1632 years. Anent the supplication pre- 
sented to the commissioners for the surrender of tiends, for Mr David Orme, minister 
at Newburgh, making mention, that where the kirks of Ebdie and Newburgh have been 
separat these mauie years by past, by act of synodal assemblie, special consent of the 


patron, gentlemen of the parochin, and all other parties having interes for the time, for 
manie grave and weighty reasons contained in the foresaid act, and likewise, seeing his 
majestie has presented the supplicant to the kirk of Newburgh, where he presently 
serves the cure, by virtue of His Heines's presentation, and the bishop of St Androis 
admission and collation thereupon ; and seeing the said commission are now settling 
an maintenance and provision for the kirk of Ebdie, humbly desiring, therefore, the saids 
commissioners to ratify the said separation, like as at mair length is conteined in the 
supplication; quhilk being read, heard, and considered, by the commissioners, and 
they having likewise heard Mr Andrew Murray, minister of Ebdie, * and the said sup- 
plicant, who were personally present; hereupon, and being well advysit with all that 
was proposed and allegit by them heranent, the lords, and others of the commission for 
the surrender of tiends, with consent of the saids twa ministers, and heritors pre- 
sent, has ratified, and by the tenor heirof ratifies the act above wTitten ; whereby the 
said kirk of Newburgh is separat from the kirk of Ebdie ; and declares the same to be 
an separat kirk by itself in all time coming ; without prejudice, always to the said Mr 
Andrew Murray, of his right of patronage of the said kirk, as accords of law." 

III. The town of Newburgh consists chiefly of one long well built street, about half a mile 
in length, a range of houses fronting the harbour, and some lanes leading down to the 
"shore." To the south of the town, but within the parish of Abdie, a considerable number 
of houses have been recently erected, in consequence of the increased trade and manufac- 
tures of the town. In passing through Newburgh, the stranger will at once perceive, 
from the number of handsome dwelling-houses, and from the appearance of the shops, that 
it is, for its extent, a wealthy and increasing town ; and on inquiry he will soon ascertain 
that its wealth and the enterprise of its inhabitants are even greater than its appearance 
would indicate. The situation of the town on the Tay is exceedingly pleasant, and from 
the gardens attached to the houses, and the numerous fruit trees with which they are 
planted, few small towns have a more beautiful appearance when seen either from the river, 
in going up or down, or from any prominent part of the neighbouring coast. The only 
public buildings in the town are the town-house, which is surmounted by a spire, and was 
erected in 1815 ; and the parish church, which was erected in 1833. This elegant struc- 
ture, which was designed by William Burn, Esq., of Edinburgh, is in the pointed style, 
and is a very great ornament to the principal street, in the line of which it is placed. The 
view of the town given in the engraving is taken from the water. 

Newburgh is a town of considerable antiquity, and owes its origin to the abbots of 
the monastery of Lindores in its neighbourhood. It was erected into a burgh of barony 
by Alexander III. in the 17th year of his reign, 1266, in favour of the abbot and con- 
vent, with all the usual privileges of burghs of barony. In the charter it is called 
" novus burgus juxta monasterium de Lindores;" and it seems, therefore, probable 

* Ancestor of Lord Mansfield, see p. 153. 



that there was a more ancient burgh in the neighbourhood belonging to the abbey, any 
trace of which however is now lost. On the 4th July, 1457, John Abbot of Lindores 
granted to the burgesses of Newburgh the land of Vodriffe and the hill to the south of 
it, for which they were to pay to the abbot homage and common service used and wont, 
with forty bolls of barley.* Besides this payment, " it appears," says Dr Anderson, 
" from the register of the abbey, that the inhabitants were hound to pay to the abbot 
a merk yearly for every brewhousc with an acre of land in the burgh." In the year 
1631, Charles I. by royal charter, erected the town into a royal burgh, with all the 
immunities and privileges usually conferred on such corporations ; but it never exer- 
cised the right of sending a member to the Scottish parliament, and consequently at 
the union, it was not included in any of those sets of burghs on whom was conferred 
the right of sending a representative to the British parliament. At the passing of the 
reform bill, it might have been expected that the wealth and importance of Newburgh 
would have entitled it to be conjoined with some of the other burghs of Fife in the 
election of a member ; but this appears to have been overlooked, and its inhabitants 
who possess the requisite franchise vote only for the member for the county. 

Newburgh is governed by two magistrates, and 15 councillors, with a town clerk. 
The magistrates have the usual civil and criminal jurisdictions ; and they hold courts 
at regular periods for the decision of questions which arc brought before them. The 
sheriff also holds a circuit court once a quarter for the recovery of small debts, in terms 
of a late act of parliament. The gaol of Newburgh which is the ground floor of the 
town-hall is only used as a lock up house ; as persons charged with a crime requiring 
more than a night's imprisonment are transmitted at once to the county gaol at Cupar. 
The gaol consists of only two small cells, which are cleanly kept and tolerably secure. 
There were formerly two additional rooms intended for the imprisonment of debtors ; 
but as there had been no instance of any one being imprisoned for debt for many 
years, these rooms were converted into a small hall in which the weekly corn market 
is held. As a lock up house, the prison is not used probably above once a month ; 
and on these occasions chiefly in consequence of assaults and breaches of the peace. 
The income of the burgh is chiefly derived from the rent of land belonging to the town, 
which has greatly encreased of late years, and is now about £170 per annum. 

IV. The linen manufacture is extensively carried on here, and has made great 
progress of late years. In the seventeenth century Cunningham in his essay on Cross 
Macduff describes Newburgh as "a poor country village;" and (ill pretty fir in last 
century, although gradually improving, it remained much the same. Until within a 
few years of the publication of the first Statistical Account, (1793) the inhabitants of 
Newburgh had been chiefly employed in husbandry ; but the linen trade had occupied 
them to a certain extent, and when that account was published, the greater portion of 

* New Statistical Account of Fifeshire, p. G3. 


the people were employed in that manufacture. At that time, however, there were 
only two persons who employed workmen ; the greater part of the linen manufactured 
being woven by individual weavers on their own account, who sold their webs when 
finished at Perth, Dundee, Cupar, Auchtermuchty, and Glasgow. The two persons 
above alluded to as employing weavers, were the only persons who had any direct 
communication at tbat time with the English market; but "no trader," says the Rev. 
Mr Stewart, " has vet appeared in Newburgh, whose extensive transactions in com- 
merce would entitle him to the name and character of a merchant; though perhaps 
the time is not far distant when many will be found here of that respectable descrip- 
tion." "That time," says the Rev. Dr Anderson, in the last Statistical Account, "has 
arrived, and Newburgh can now boast of a considerable number of spirited individuals, 
who are engaged in extensive commercial speculations, and fully entitled, as others of 
their countrymen, to the honourable appellation of British merchants." 

The principal branch of manufacture is the weaving of what is called dowlas, for 
which a ready market is found in London, Leeds, and [Manchester; but besides 
what is there sold, large quantities are exported to the West Indies and South Amer- 
ica, directly by the merchants of Newburgh. There are twelve persons, or co- 
partneries, who carry on this manufacture, and who not only employ the whole weavers 
in Newburgh, but also considerable numbers in Cupar, Springfield, Pitlessie, Kettle, 
Markinch, Falkland, Freuchie, Dunshelt, Auchtermuchty, Strathmiglo, Abernethy, 
Aberargie, Kentillo, and other places. The finest goods manufactured here do not 
exceed what is called fourteen hundred linens, which are from one to three yards wide. 
In 1S33, there were employed in winding bobbins, 10 boys, 3 old men, 80 women 
above 50 years, and 249 women below that age ; in all, 342. The number of looms 
employed within the town was 564. The number of webs manufactured was 23,600 ; 
and their value £128,325.* Notwithstanding the late stagnation in this branch of 
trade, the linen manufacture of Newburgh has continued to increase ; at present (1S3S) 
the yearly value of goods manufactured is £170,000 sterling. 

The merchants of Newburgh also carry on a very considerable trade in grain, which 
has been much increased and facilitated by the establishment of a weekly stock market 
to which the farmers of the surrounding district bring in their grain. Here not only, 
the Newburgh merchants make their purchases, but merchants from Kirkaldy and 
other places regularly attend. Barley for the distillers is the grain which is here most 
inquired after ; but wheat, oats, beans, and potatoes, also find a ready sale. The 
merchants of Newburgh ship annually about 20,000 quarters of grain, and about 6,000 
bolls of potatoes. Malting was at one time carried on here to a considerable extent, 
but has been discontinued for some time past. There are, however, two brewers of 
small and table beer in the town. 

* New Statistical Account of Fifeshire, p. 76. 


The harbour of Newburgh, usually called "the shore," consists of a long pier parallel 
to the river, and five projecting piers at right angles to it. There is always here 
considerable stir and bustle ; and not a little real business going on. The near neigh- 
bourhood, however, of Dundee, and the excellence of the harbours there, have most 
probably prevented this branch of trade from advancing in the same proportion with 
which the linen manufacture has done. Yet there are vessels to the amount of 
about 1600 tons belonging to the port; and two packets are regularly employed in 
bringing from Dundee the raw material used in the linen manufacture, and in carrying 
away the manufactured goods. Besides this, and the shipping of grain and potatoes, 
there is a considerable importation of wood from America, Norway, and Memel, and 
of coals from the north of England. In addition to this, the steam boats which ply 
daily between Perth and Dundee touch at Newburgh ; and many of the vessels 
bound for Perth are often obliged to wait here for the flow of the tide, and in many 
instances to discharge a part of their cargo before they can proceed up the river. Ship- 
building has recently been commenced at Newburgh, with great appearance of success, 
by a spirited and enterprising individual, Mr Joseph Garland. Alreadv two vessels 
of considerable burden have been launched, and others are upon the stocks. 

A company for supplying the town with gas was formed in 1S3&, and having erected 
suitable works, began to make gas in October, 1S37. During the year, from that pe- 
riod, to October, 1^3S, they supplied the town with gas to the extent of about 400,000 
cubic feet, at the rate of 13s. per 1000 cubic feet. During last winter two retorts 
were kept in operation; and during the summer only one. The demand for this 
beautiful light is continuing to encrease ; and the quantity of gas made next year will 
consequently be much above what it was last year. 

There are two fairs here yearly, at which markets were formerly held, but these 
have now degenerated, and the fairs are merely seasons of amusement to the inhabi- 
tants. One of these is called the Race fair, when foot and pony races take place. The 
other is called the Haggis fair. The origin of this name is supposed to be from the 
hagabag, or coai - se linen formerly sold at it. Newburgh is a post town; and there is 
also a sub-distributer of stamps, who sells, upon an average, stamps to the amount of 
£500 or £600 sterling, annually. There are 11 bakers, and about 30 public houses in 
the parish. 

A branch of the Perth bank was opened here in 1800, and continued to do business 
till 1S1 1, when it was withdrawn. Newburgh did not again enjoy the benefit of a local 
bank till 1S33, when the increased importance of the town induced the Commercial 
Bank of Scotland to establish a branch here in that year. This branch still continues 
to do business to a considerable amount. The agent is Thomas Anderson, Esq. In 
1834, the Central Bank of Scotland, whose principal establishment is at Perth, also 
opened a branch of their bank, which does business here; Andrew Brown, Esq., agent. 

Upon the whole, we may not only say with Dr Anderson, that " the trade and com- 


mercial enterprise of Newburgh will bear a comparison with those of places of much 
larger dimensions, and of greater external decorations ;" but we may add, that we do 
not believe that there is any where to be found a town of its size, in which there is to 
be found the same extent of individual wealth, created by merchandise and manufac- 
tures, or in which such a comparative extent of business is done. In Dundee, in the 
year 17SS-9, the value of the linen stamped for that year Avas only £80,587 sterling, 
although it was the staple trade of the town, and the population was 19,329; whereas, in 
Newburgh, notwithstanding the extent of business done as already shown, the popula- 
tion is only 2458. That the trade of the town will continue to increase there can be 
little doubt, when its many local advantages, and the increasing wealth of its spirited 
and enterprising merchants are taken into view. * 

There are three benefit societies in the town, which have been found of great utility 
to the working classes. The Friendly benefit society was established in 1807. There 
are about 200 members at present. The funds are £1440 sterling. Upon an average 

* Newburgh was visited by the rebels in 1715, on which occasion the burgh was not only assessed, but 
detachments of the rebels were from time to time placed in free quarters on the inhabitants. The whole 
loss, including the town drum which had been carried off, to the burgh as a corporation, appears to have 
been L.230 10s. '2d. Scots, or L.19 4s. 6d. sterling, but we have no means of ascertaining the various 
losses sustained by individuals. The original account, however, made out by the magistrates, of the 
loss sustained by the town is still preserved, and is in the possession of Thomas Shaw, Esq., writer, 
Cupar. The following is a copy of this curious document. 

Accompt of the loss sustained by the toune and inhabitants of Newburgh by the rebells durcing 

the tymc of the late Rebellion, as Follows : lib. sh. d. 

Impr. Payed, of Cess to John Smith, Collector to the rebells, conform to his discharge, 

yrof dated 20 Oct., 1715 SJ 12 2 

It. There was quartered of Strath more 's men seventcin, John Strachan being com- 
mander, and that for ye space of twcnty-ffoiir hours, who took frie quarters. Re- 
ferred to ye Judges' modification . .. .. .. . .560 

It. There was quartered fyfty-seven men twenty-four hours, also commanded by Cap- 

taine Farquarsone . . . . . . . . . • . .17 4 

It. There was twenty men took frie quarters also for two days, commanded by En- 
sign Ogilvie . . . . . . . . . . . . .1200 

It. There was twenty-seven men took frie quarters also sixteiu days, commanded by 
Alexander M'Kenzie ........... 

It. There was seven men for three days, commanded by Lieutenant Makcnzie 

It. Captain Makcnzie and seventcin men for five days got frie quarters also 

It. A large Drum and Drumsticks, taken of by the party of gentlemen, when they 

came first to Ffyfe about Michaelmas last, referred to the judges' modificatione 6 

This is the generall accompt relating to the tounc, but each particular person's loss sustained by 
them is to be given in by their particular accompts signed with their hands. As witness qrof this 
signed by the baillies att Newburgh, the ffourteen day of March, jajvijc and sixtein years. 

(Signed) ' R. SMITH. JOHN LYELL. 







the society distributes annually to sick members £S0 sterling. The Lindores lodge of 
free masons have a benefit society connected with the lodge. They possess property 
to the extent of £700 sterling, and distribute from £25 to £30 annually. The Cale- 
donian friendly lodge of odd fellows, formed in 1S27, consists of 155 members, and 
has £440 of funds. They distribute to sick members, about £32 annually. A branch 
of the Fifesliire national security Savings' bank has been recently established in New- 
burgh ; but it is impossible as yet to say any tiling of its success. 

V. North-east of the town, and at the extremity of the parish, on a gentle rise, in the 
middle of the rich clay land near the Tay, stand the ruins of the ancient abbey of Lin- 
dores. This monastery was founded in 117S, by David, Earl of Huntingdon, brother 
of William the Lion, and heir-presumptive to the Scottish throne, after his return from 
a crusade in the Holy Land, in commemoration of his escape from shipwreck, and of 
his having taken Ptolemais from the Saracens.* He planted it with monks of St 
Benedict of the order of Tyronensis, and dedicated the church to the Virgin Mary 
and St Andrew the apostle. The monks were brought from the abbey of Kelso, 
where this order, who are extolled by Boethius as being " marum innoccntia clari," had 
been established by David I. Saint Benedict, or Bennct, who lived in the fifth cen- 
tury, was the original founder of this order of monks who bore his name, and who 
were also called black monks from the colour of their habit. St Bernard, who reformed 
this order in the twelfth century, settled them at Tyron, in France, whence they de- 
rived the name of Tyronensis. He added various new rules to those of St Benedict, 
and among others, that each of the brethren should practise within the convent whatever 
mechanical art he knew. " Accordingly, the monasteries of this order contained within 
them painters, carvers, carpenters, smiths, masons, vine-dressers and husbandmen, who 
were under the direction of an elder, and the profits of whose work went to the common 

The charter of foundation has been preserved by Dugdale in his Monasticon Anglica- 
num, being printed from a copy made by Sir James Balfour from the original document. 
The introduction to this charter, is as follows : " Universis sanctae niatris ecclesia filiis 

* The (ale of prince David is romantic, and lias been doubted, though certainly without any great 
cause. He married Matilda, daughter of Ranulph Earl of Chester, and immediately afterwards as- 
sumed the cross, and departed for the Holy Land under the banner of Richard Cceur de Lion. Many 
were the a Iventures gone through, and misfortunes sustained, by this zealous prince. He is said to 
have been shipwrecked on the coast of Egypt, and made captive. His rank being unknown, he was 
purchased by a Venetian, who brought him to Constantinople, where lie was accidentally recognised 
by some English merchants. By these merchants lie was redeemed and sent home. After having sur- 
mounted various difficulties, he was in imminent hazard of being again shipwrecked on the coast of 
Scotland. In gratitude for his escape he built the old church at Dundee, and founded (he Abbey of 
Lindores. He died at Geconly and was buried at Soltray in 1219. The story of Earl David lias 
formed the ground work of one of Sir Walter Scott's beautiful inventions in his Tales of the Crusa- 
ders, and has in consequence become familiar to the public. 


et fidelibus, tarn praesentibus quam fiituris, comes David, frater regis Scotia? salutem. 
Sciatis me fundasse quandam abbaciam apud Londors, de ordine Kelcborensi, ad hono- 
rem Dei, et S. Maria? Virginis et S. Andree apostoli," &c. Besides bis original grant to 
tbe monastery in tbe charter of foundation, Earl David granted to tbe abbey, " the island 
which is called Fedinch (MugdrumP), and all the fishings in Tay, adjoining the said island, 
except one, viz., a yair at Tolcrik ;" and by another, " a right of taking stone from his 
quarry in Irneside, both for their church and other buildings." William the Lyon 
granted to the abbey a full toft in each of the royal burghs of Berwick, Stirling, Crail, 
Perth, Forfar, Montrose, and Aberdeen. Alexander III. granted to it "their whole 
wood in the fee of Fyntreth, and the whole wood with their lands of Lindores in free 
forestry." Isabella de Brous gave to the abbey her lands of Cragyn, near Dundee, with 
all her land in the town of Milneton, and in the town of Abraham. James II. granted to 
it bis lands of ParkhiH, and also the office of forestry of his wood of Ironside, lying in the 
lands of Parkhill in Fyfe. * Roger de Quenci, Earl of Winchester, granted 200 loads 
of heather yearly from his moor of Kindeloch, and peats from his peatry called Monegie, 
with some lands adjacent to Monegie, and common of pasturage on his moor of Kinde- 
loch. In addition to all these and other grants of lands, and many privileges, the monks 
of Lindores drew the tythes of twenty-two parish churches which belonged to them. In 
1208, Sibbald says, be finds that there resided in the monastery an abbot and twenty-six 

The first abbot, Fordun says, was named Guido ; and Spottiswoode, in his Religious 
Houses, says, " there is a bull of Pope Innocent III., granted at Lateran, in the year 1198, the 
second year of his pontificate, confirming all the lands and privileges granted to the monas- 
tery, and addressed " Guidoni, abbati monasterii Sancta? Marise de Lundores cj usque fratri- 
bus." He is said to have been succeeded by Thomas, a man of great sanctity, upon whose 
death, John, one of the monks, was raised to the dignity of abbot. John was buried at 
Kelso, and was succeeded by Nicholas, styled Cellerarius de Lindores. In the beginning 
of the fifteenth century, Lawrence was abbot of Lindores, who is said to have been "magnus 
theolo<ms et vitac venerabilis vir." He was a doctor of civil law, and was appointed by the 
pope to the important office of inquisitor in Scotland. In this office he was stern and severe, 
and it was by him that Resby and Crawar, the earliest of our Scottish martyrs, were con- 
demned to the flames. We have a more favourable view, however, of Lawrence of Lin- 
dores, when we find him associated with bishop Wardlaw, in founding the University of St 
Andrews. He was one of the first lecturers in this institution, explaining the fourth book 
of the Sentences of Peter the Lombard. John, another abbot of Lindores, was present at 
the condemnation of Sir John Borthwick for heresy in May 1540. He was afterwards ap- 
pointed judge in the Court of Session, and first appears in the sederunt of 5th Novem- 
ber, 1544. He was appointed a member of the parliamentary committee for the discus- 

* Chartiilary of Lindores, quoted by Dr Anderson. 


sion of domes, 1542; again in December, 1543; and elected a lord of articles on the 7th 
of November, 1544. He attended the parliament in August, 1560, which established the 
reformed religion, which he embraced, and was again appointed a lord of the articles, much 
to the displeasure of the popish party, who stigmatised him as an apostate.* 

John Leslie, the celebrated bishop of Ross, and the faithful adherent to the unfortunate 
Mary, epieen of Scots, throughout all her misfortunes, succeeded the pious John, abbot of 
Lindores. Some doubts have been thrown on the parentage of this prelate by Knox, who, 
in his history calls him "a priest's get;" but in the account of his life, prefixed to his 
negociations in behalf of his mistress and sovereign, during the time of his confinement 
in England, he is said to have been born of creditable and honourable parents. In 1546, 
he was advanced by the bishop of Aberdeen to the character of an acolyte in his cathedral 
church; and in 1550, he was canon of Aberdeen and Ellon, prebend of Aberdeen, and per- 
petual vicar of the parish kirk of Dyik. He now applied himself to the study of law, and for 
this purpose went to France, where he studied the canon and civil laws for four years at 
Poictiers, Toulouse, and Paris. There he was made doctor of laws, and lectured for nearly a 
twelvemonth in the schools of law. He returned to Scotland in 1554, was appointed 
official of Aberdeen on 15th April, 1558, and inducted into the parsonage and prebend 
of Oync in 1559- He disputed with the reformers at Edinburgh in 1561; and was se- 
lected by the Catholic party to go to France, and invite queen Mary to return to Scotland, 
after the death of her husband, Francis II. Proceeding to France, accordingly, he at- 
tended Mary home, was shortly afterwards appointed a privy counsellor, and in 1564 was 
appointed an ordinary lord of session. Not long afterwards he obtained the abbacy of Lin- 
dores, in commendam ; and in 1565 was appointed to the see of Ross. 

Bishop Leslie was one of the queen's lords, who, in June, 1567) tried to animate the 
citizens of Edinburgh to resistance, when it was attacked by the associated lords. After 
the imprisonment of the queen, he returned to his diocese ; but having heard of her es- 
cape, he hastened to join her at Hamilton. He accompanied his unfortunate mistress to 
Carlisle, and was one of the most zealous of her commissioners, in September, 1568. He 
was also ambassador from Mary to Elizabeth, and was most indefatigable in his exertions to 
befriend the imprisoned queen. Among others, he entered deeply into the intrigue with 
Norfolk, and was in consequence deprived of his privileges as ambassador, committed first 
to the charge of the bishop of Ely, and latterly to the tower of London, from which he was 
only liberated after a confinement of two years, on condition of his leaving the country. 
He now went to France, where he remained till the following year, 157."), when he pro- 
ceeded to Rome, where he continued three years, and where he published his history. 
For several years after this he wandered from court to court, vainly endeavouring to rouse 
the catholic princes in behalf of Mary. He was, in 1 57<J, appointed vicar-general of the 
archiepiscopal church of Rohan; and, in 1593, was provided with the bishopric of Con- 
stances in Normandy, but was prevented from enjoying his preferment by the troubles of 

* Senators of College of Justice, p. 79. 


the period. At length he retired to Brussels, where he died on the 3d May, 1596, in the 
sixty-ninth year of his age. 

Besides his history, the Latinity of which is held as only second to Buchanan, bishop 
Leslie wrote and published several treatises in defence of the honour and interest of Queen 
Mary; and the "Pious Consolations" which amidst his 01111 distresses he yet found time 
to write for her use, cheered her cruel solitude, and gained for him her gratitude. One 
of the last actions of Mary's life was to address Philip II. of Spain on his behalf, whom she 
styles the most pious, able, and devoted of her servants. He certainly was the most emi- 
nent individual both as a prelate, statesman, and historian, who ever held the abbacy of 

After the removal of bishop Leslie to the continent, the lion. Sir Patrick Leslie of Pit- 
cairlie, second son of Andrew fifth earl of Rothes, received the abbacy of Lindores in 
commendam. He was high in favour with James VI. who conferred on him the honour 
of knighthood, and appointed him one of the gentlemen of his bed-chamber. He also re- 
ceived grants of various lands in Fife and other counties. His eldest son Patrick had the 
abbacy of Lindores erected into a temporal lordship in his favour, and was created Lord Lin- 
dores, 3 1st March, 1G00 ; but was for a time only styled master of Lindores, in consequence 
of the father taking the title during his life. He was succeeded by his brother James, 
who is styled the third lord, who was again succeeded by James, fourth lord. On his suc- 
cession a great portion of the lands of Lindores were apprised in favour of John Bayne of 
Pitcairly, in consecpience of debts incurred by James the third lord. David, the fifth lord, 
dying without issue, was succeeded in the title by Alexander Leslie of Quarter, the grand- 
son of the hon. Sir John Leslie of Newton, a younger brother of Sir Patrick Leslie the 
commendator, and first Lord Lindores, who became sixth lord. His son Francis John, the 
seventh lord, died without issue, when the title was claimed by John Leslie of Lumquhat, 
the fourth in descent from James Leslie of Lumquhat, the third son of the above men- 
tioned Sir John Leslie of Newton. He voted as Lord Lindores in several elections; 
but at the general election, 21th July, 1790, his votes were objected to; and the house of 
lords, 6th June, 1793, although on what ground is not apparent, resolved that "die votes 
given by the Lord Lindores at the said election were not good." Since then, the title 
has remained dormant; and the lands are all in the hands of other families. The lands 
of Lindores within this parish are now the property of David Balfour Hay, Esq., of 

The site of the monastery of Lindores on the fine carse land which here borders 
the Tay, and was formerly part of the forest of Black Earnside, must have been pecu- 
liarly beautiful, commanding a view of the opposite shores of the Tay, and a por- 
tion of the valley of Strathern ; and the several buildings it contained were no doubt 
in a style of grandeur commensurate with its wealth and importance. The latter, 
however, is now in^a great measure matter of conjecture, as little of the ruins now 
remain which can give any idea of its extent or the beauty of its architecture. The 


first outburst of the reformers, no doubt gave rise to the same destructive attack on 
the monastery of Lindores, which proved the ruin of so many other venerable build- 
ings throughout the kingdom; but it has been peculiarly unfortunate, as it seems long- 
afterwards to have formed a quarry from which the inhabitants of Newburgh obtained 
stones for repairing or erecting their houses. The consequence is that the whole of 
the polished ashler stones with which the walls of the church and other buildings 
were faced, both outside, and inside have been removed, and almost nothing of these 
buildings now remains, but the internal packing of small stones and lime which filled 
up the space between the ashler fronts. A thick matting of ivy serves however, in 
part, to conceal the long continued dilapidations which ruthless hands have made on 
these interesting ruins. Although little remains to show the architecture of the principal 
buildings of the monastery, there is enough from which its ground plan might be 
traced ; and from the appearance of a lofty wall which certainly formed the eastern 
gable of the church, that building had been ornamented with a very large eastern 
window. If we were allowed to form any conjecture as to the style of the church we 
should suppose it to have been what is styled the early English, that is the first and 
simplest form in which the pointed style is any where found; and the appearance of 
the groinings on the roof of two small vaulted crypts which are yet entire, would seem 
to favour this conjecture. It may, however, have been in the Norman style, which 
immediately preceded the early English, and was for a time coeval with it ; indeed 
both of these styles were practised about the era of the erection of this monasterv. 
The wall which surrounded the precinct of the abbey is still pretty entire, and within 
it and in its immediate vicinity, are still to be seen many of the " vastly big old pear 
trees," mentioned by Sibbald. One of these is particularly worthy of notice for its 
great size and age, although it is now, from the breaking down of one of its principal 
branches, a third less than it was a few years ago. When we saw it this year, it was, 
notwithstanding its age, and that it is beginning to decay internally, literally loaded 
with fruit. * 

.nc years ago the matrix of the seal of the abbey was discovered, and is thus described by Mr 
Brand, the secretary to the Society of Antiquaries : " It seems to be made of the bone of some ani- 
mal, and represents the Virgin Alary seated with our Saviour in her lap, holding a branch in her 
right hand, and the Abbey of Lindores in her left. The inscription runs thus, ' Sigillum Sancle 
Marii , i ,' Sci Andree de Lu ' ■' ; here a piece has been broken off ; part of the R is, however, still 

visible, an I there is no doubt but that the letters E and S followed it." In the month o:' September 
last, a very ancient gold seal ring was turned up by the plough immediately north of the abbey wall. 
It is very massy, and of more than usual circumference, passing with ease over the thumb joint of a 
powerful man. It is richly chased, and in as perfect condition as if new from the jeweller's shop. 
The signet or seal is about the size of a fourpenuy piece. It is an amythesfc, bavin;.'; cut on it for 
device, in intaglio, a head of Janus with a long beard. There is an inscription in black letter 
around the ring, which is not very legible, but the words "Johannes" and " Sacer" have been made 
out. There were three abbots of Lindores of the name of John. John, the third abbot from the erec- 



It is said that David, Duke of Rothsay, eldest son of Robert II., who was barbarously 
murdered at Falkland, by the contrivance of his uncle, the Earl of Fife, and Sir John 
Ramorney, was buried here ;* but this is doubtful, as it is also said he was, buried in the 
old church of Kilgour, near Falkland. A stone coffin is pointed out at Lindores, which 
is said to have been that of the prince, but this is mere vague conjecture, as for any 
thing that appears, it may have been the resting place of some of the abbots of the 
monastery. The last of the earls of Douglas, after a life of trouble and turmoil, found 
a peaceful retreat for his old age, and died within the walls of this monastery. He was 
the ninth earl of the elder branch of that noble house. After the death of his brother, 
who, in 1451-2, was poniarded in Stirling Castle by James II., he made a feeble 
attempt to avenge that deed upon the king. Wanting the energy of his race, and 
vacilating and procrastinating in his counsels, he was deserted by his principal friends, 
and obliged to fly into England. There he was well received, and from thence, aided 
by the power of England, he made many unsuccessful inroads upon the Scottish 

At length, wearied of exile, he and the Duke of Albany made an attempt to establish 
themselves in Scotland, now, as they conceived, peculiarly open to them from the 
discontent which existed between James III. and his nobles. With a small force he 
crossed the border, trusting that his former friends and followers would fly to his 
standard ; but in this he was disappointed, for the most powerful of the border chiefs 
little inclined to follow his fallen fortunes, attacked and defeated him at Burnswark in 
Dumfries-shire. He was taken in flight by a son of Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, one of 
his own vassals. A grant of lands had been offered for his person, and he appears to 
have been willing that it should be obtained by young Kirkpatrick. " Carry me to the 
king," said he, " thou art well entitled to profit by my misfortune ; for thou wast true 
to me while I was true to myself." The young man wept bitterly, and offered to fly 
with the earl into England. But Douglas, weary of exile, refused his proffered liberty, 
and only requested that Kirkpatrick would not deliver him to the king till he had 
secured his own reward. Kirkpatrick not only did this, obtaining the lands of Kirk- 
michael for his service, but stipulated for the safety of the aged nobleman. f The last 

tion of the monastery, John, who, as we have mentioned, in 1457, conferred privileges on the burgh of 
Newburgh, and John Leslie bishop of Ross, who held the abbey in commendam. The probability is that 
this was the seal ring of the second John, in which case it is nearly 400 years old. There is not the 
smallest likelihood of its having been the seal of the bishop of Ross, as he, holding the abbey only 
as commendator, never in all probability resided at, or often visited it. At the manse of A'ewburgh, 
there is a small grave stone, taken from the ruins, on which the figure of a monk is slightly cut, and 
the letters "J, A. L." inscribed. This was very probably the grave stone of the John Abbot of 
Lindores, who we have supposed was owner of the ring. There is another stone of larger dimensions 
in the churchyard of Abdie, on which the figure of a monk is cut in bold relief. This seems also to 
have been taken from the ruins, and was probably also the tomb-stone of one of the abbots. 
* Vol. I. p. 70. t Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. I. p. 103. 


of the Douglasses was allowed to retire to Lindores, which he did, muttering as he left 
the royal presence, " he who may no better be, must be a monk ;" and there he re- 
mained till he died in 148S. The verses said to have been made upon his assuming 
the cowl, are here given, with the translation. 

Quod rules rasumque caput, cellaque recessum ? Why do you laugh to see my shaven crown ? 

Quodque cucullatis fratribus anumerer ? My cell, my cloister, and my hooded gown '■ 

Fortuna volvente vicos fiet modo Prince] This is the power of that Sovcraine Queen, 

Plebeius; monarchus sa?pe monacha fuit. Bywhom monks, monarchs ; monarch?, monks have been. 

VI. Mugdrum lies upon the Tay, at the west end of the parish, and in the immediate 
neighbourhood of the burgh. The house is a large heavy looking building, erected in 
1786, beautifully situated near the river, amid extensive and very fine old woods. The 
old house stands nearer the water, and is still inhabited, and in good condition, but it is 
much smaller in size than the new house. Anciently Mugdrum was the property of 
Orm, the son of Hugh, the ancestor of the Abernethvs ; and when Sibbald wrote, it 
was one of the seats of Mr Cheape of Rossie. * From that family it came to the family 
of the present proprietor, David Balfour Hay, Esq. of Leys. The family of Hay is one 
of great antiquity in Scotland, but the origin assigned to it, from an old man who fought 
against the Danes at the battle of Luncarty, about 980, is unquestionably fabulous. 
The real origin of the family is certainly from a branch of the Anglo-Norman Hays, 
who came to England with William the Conqueror.f The first of this name who 
appears in Scottish records, is William de Haya, who settled in Lothian, at the middle 
of the twelfth century ; and who acted as pincerna (or butler) during the reign of 
Malcolm IV. and William the Lyon. He is said to have had two sons, William, from 
whom are descended the Hays, Earls of Errol, and the Hays of Leys ; and Robert, 
ancestor of the Marquis of Tweedale. William Hay, the ancestor of the Hays of Leys, 
was the second son of David de Haya, the grandson of the first William de Haya. 
William, the ancestor of the Hays of Leys, obtained a charter from Alexander III., 
dated 29th April, 1251, confirming a donation which Gilbert de Haya made to William 
de Haya his brother, of two carrucates of land in Errol. This became their patrimonial 
estate the Leys ; and since the date of the first charter, they possess a continued series 
of charters over the lands of Leys till the present day, a period of nearly six hundred 
years. The present proprietor now represents the male line of the Hays, the elder 
branch of Errol having some time asro ended in a female. 

' South of Mugdrum, and in a glen among the hills, is Pitcairly, " where," says Sibbald, 
there is " an old tower, of old the seat of Patrick Leslie, first Lord Lindores." He 
was designed of Pitcairly, previous to the erection of the abbacy of Lindores into a 
temporal lordship in favour of his son ; and the Lords Lindores continued to reside 
here, until the lands were apprized by Mr John Baync, writer in Edinburgh, who is 

* Sibbald, p. 402. f Douglas' Barontagc, Vol. I- p. 597. 


afterwards designed of Pitcairly. At the time Sibbald wrote, these lands were the 
property of James Taylor, Esq., W. S. ; and are now the property of Taylor Cathcart, 

VII. As already mentioned, the church of Newburgh is situated in the centre of the 
town, and is therefore conveniently placed for the whole parish, with the exception of 
the most distant portion of that part which stretches to the south. It is a new and 
elegant structure capable of containing 1000 persons. The sittings for the most part 
are either free, or let at a merely nominal rent. The number of persons belonging to 
the established church, in 1836, was 1656: the number of communicants, 669 ; the 
number of communicants is now about 750. The manse- was erected about fifty years 
ago, and some years ago underwent a thorough repair. It stands on the sloping bank 
to the south-east of the town, and commands an extensive view of the river Tay and 
the fertile Carse of Gowrie. The glebe contains four acres, the grass glebe ten acres. 
The stipend is, meal, S9 bolls, 2 firlots, 3 lippies ; barley, 115 bolls, 3 firlots, 3 lippies ; 
oats, 29 bolls; and money, £16:8:3, sterling. The present incumbent fs the Rev. 
John Anderson, D. D., M. W. S. ; the patrons are, the Earl of Mansfield and Mr Hay 
of Mugdrum, per vices. 

Besides the parish church, there is a chapel in connection with the United Associate 
Synod, the Rev. John Jamieson Johnston, minister. The persons attending this chapel 
and their families form very nearly one-third of the whole inhabitants of the parish ; 
and the communicants are about 400.* There are also three small meeting=houses of 
Baptists, Methodists, and Independents ; at any of which the attendance seldom 
exceeds 20. The total number of dissenters in the parish, in 1836, of all denominations, 
but of which the three above named form, as we have stated, an exceedingly small 
proportion, were 100S ; the communicants with these bodies, 414. There were, at the 
same period, 204 individuals connected with no stated place of worship. 

The parish school is situated within the burgh, at which there is an average attend- 
ance of about 100 pupils. Here the ordinary branches of education are taught, with 
Latin, Greek, Navigation, Nautical Astronomy, and occasionally Geometry. The fees 
are, per quarter, English, 2s., with Writing, 2s. 6d. ; these, with Arithmetic, 3s. ; Latin and 
Greek, 5s.; Geometry and pure Mathematics, 7s. 6d.; and for Navigation and Nautical 
Astronomy, £1 for the course. Besides his fees, the teacher has the maximum salary, 
a school house, house and garden, and a glebe of nearly four Scots acres, which lets 
for £9 per annum ; and a sum of £ 1 1 5s. sterling, arising from feu duties and altarage 
money. There are two other general schools in the town, which are unendowed, and 
wholly dependent on the fees. At both of these the same branches of education are 

* Mr Johnston writes me that I have been misinformed with regard to the number of Dissenters in the parish 
of Abdie (see p. 153). There are, he says, 37 families in that parish connected with his congregation; and, in 
1837, there were besides 7 individuals belonging to the United Associate church of Auchtermuchty, 2 to the same 
church at Abernethy, 1 to the Relief church at Auchtermuchty, and 2 to the Methodist chapel at Newburgh. 


taught, with the exception of Mathematics. About 100 pupils may attend the one of 
these schools, and above 50 the other. There are one female school in the parish, and 
two sabbath evening schools. There are also two schools for females in the suburbs, 
which, though not within the parish, really belong to it, as the pupils almost wholly 
come from the town of Newburgh. At one of these music and fancy work are taught, 
at the other, only the junior branches of education. 

The number of poor on the regular roll, receiving assistance in 1837, was 23. The 
allowance made to them varies from Ss. to Is. per month. During that year six indi- 
viduals received occasional assistance. The whole sum expended was £100 sterling. 
The funds necessary are supplied from the collection at the church door, upon an 
average about £78 sterling ; the interest of money belonging to the session £8:6:6. 
feu duties, £4 : 10, the dues for the mortcloth lent at funerals, proclamation of banns, 
and a poor box sent round once a month through the burgh. Besides this there is a 
female charitable society which distributes about £15 per annum, in clothes, fuel, and 
other necessaries during the winter. No assessment has hitherto been found neces- 
sary, nor is any likely to be recpiired, so long as the benefit societies are conducted in 
the manner they have hitherto been, and the manufacturing business continues to fur- 
nish an easy employment for the young and the aged in winding yarn. 

VIII. The population has been since the first census was taken gradually on the 
increase. In 1755, it was 1347; in 1793, 1664; in 1801, 1936; in 1811, 1951; in 
1821, 2190; and in 1831, 2642. During the whole of this period the country portion 
of the parish has remained nearly stationary, the increase having been almost wholly 
in the burgh, and the suburb of the shore. In 1793 the population in the country part 
of the parish was 112 ; in 1831, it was 129; there being in nearly 40 years only an 
increase of 17 individuals. The following is the analysis of the government return in 

Males, 20 years of age, 608; total males, 1241; females, 1401; total population, 2642. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 20; ditto chiefly employed in trade, manufactures, and handicraft, 

440; all other families not comprised in the foregoing, 163; total families, 623. 
Persons occupying land employing labourers, o; ditto not employing labourers, 3 ; labourers employed in 

agriculture, 21 . 
Persons employed in manufacture, 277 ; ditto in retail trade or in handicraft, as masters or workmen, lo4 ; 

capitalists, bankers, professional, and other educated men, 25. 
Labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 61. 

Other males 20 years of age (except servants) not included in either of the above, o4. 
Male servants 20 years of age, S; female servant?, ~>3. 
Inhabited houses, 322. 

The town and suburbs have certainly increased considerably since 1831 ; but this will 
not be so apparent in the next census of the parish of Newburgh, as it would have 
been, had the whole of the increase been confined to the parish. The position of the 


town, on the borders of the parish, has caused a great many of the recently built houses 
to be erected in the parish of Abdie, in the census of which parish they will be included, 
though truly forming a part of the town and suburbs of Newburgh. 

IX. The soil of the land north-east of the town, which is low and flat, is a rich clay, 
not inferior to any part of the Carse. In the upper part of the parish, it is generally 
either a loose black loam, or a compact ferrugenous mould, of little depth, but of great 
fertility. The number of imperial acres in the parish are 1145; of which there are 
737 in cultivation; 280 acres waste or in pasture; 88 under wood; and 40 under 
fruit trees. The principal woods are those of Mugdrum, which cover about 34 acres ; 
Pitcairly, about 12 acres; and about 41 acres of the lands belonging to the town, 
which have been lately planted with larch, spruce, and Scotch firs. The orchards owe 
their origin here, undoubtedly, to the skill and industry of the monks, and the venerable 
remains of the trees they planted are still as we have said to be seen around the abbey. 
Those of a later origin, in the immediate vicinity of the town, are in a very thriving 
condition, abound in fruit of the finest quality, and from their extent are a source of 
considerable profit to the proprietors. * 

There are only four farms in the parish of any extent, the remaining lands being so 
divided and parcelled out among feuars and burgh heritors, as not to consist of more 
than a single plough's labour. The whole is in a very high state of cultivation, and the 
mode of husbandry, that which has been most approved on the north side of Fife. 
Considerable improvements have recently been made by more extensive draining ; and 
the higher grounds have been greatly benefitted by the cultivation of turnips sown 
down with bone dust, and afterwards eaten off with sheep. After the turnips, most 
luxuriant crops of barley of the finest description have been obtained. The duration 
of leases on the estate of Pitcairly, are for the usual period of nineteen years ; but on 
the estate of Mugdrum, they are only from seven to ten years. The average rent of 
the clay lands in the immediate vicinity of the town is £6 sterling per annum ; in the 
southern and hilly part of the parish it is about £3 10s. sterling. The greater portion 
of the property belonging to the town has but recently been brought into cultivation, 
and the rent for the new land is about 10s. per acre; but on a renewal of the leases, 
it may be anticipated that, it will average four times that sum. In 1815, the annual 
value of the real property, for which the parish was assessed for the property tax, was 
£3,429 sterling ; but this included the rents of property within the burgh. The real 
rent of the parish at present is about £2,400 sterling ; the valued rent is £2,174 scots. 
There is no grain mill within the parish, but there are four thrashing mills. 

The average gross amount of raw produce raised in the parish, is, as nearly as can 
be ascertained.t 

* New Statistical Account, Fifeslure, pp. 61, G2. f lb" 1 - P> 75 « 


Grain of all kind?, ....... £3154 

Potatoes, turnips, &c. ....... 12Q5 

Hay, ........ 3 08 

Land in pasture, ....... oqo 

Gardens and orchards, including value of potatoes raised on do. for domestic 

use, ........ 900 

Fisheries, - - - - - - - -120 


In the year 1S35 there were in the country part of the parish 50 horses; 43 milch 
cows; and 78 cattle; in the town of Newburgh, 35 horses; 75 milch cows; and 13 

X. Within the woods of Mugdrum, a short way westward of the town, there is a 
very interesting relic of antiquity, known by the name of Mugdrum Cross. " The 
term Mugdrum is obviously," says Dr Anderson, "a corruption of Magriden, the 
saint in whose honour it may have been erected, and to whom the lands of Mugdrum 
were dedicated." The cross consists of an upright square pillar of stone, fixed into 
a large oblong stone as a base. The cruciform part is not now to be seen, as the 
upper portion has been broken off; but there seems little reason to doubt, both from 
the appearance of the stone itself, and from its resemblance to other crosses still 
existing, that it originally had transepts which gave it the form of a cross. An en- 
graving of the east face of this cross will be found in plate II. of Celtic Antiquities, 
fig. 1. The cross appears to have originally been ornamented with carved figures, 
but the remains of this is only now visible on the east face, and the north side, what- 
ever has been carved on the west and south being now entirely obliterated. The east 
face, as appears from the engraving, is divided into four compartments, the upper two 
of which, together, occupy nearly one-half the stone. They obviously originally each 
contained the representation of a man on horseback, but the riders and the posterior 
portion of both horses have disappeared from the decay of the stone. The third com- 
partment contains two figures also partially effaced, the first and smallest of which 
appears to be a horse ; while the other, the head of which has disappeared, seems to 
be a bullock with a yoke round the neck. In the lower compartment there are five 
figures apparently representing a boar hunt, the boar and four dogs being pretty dis- 
tinct. It is probable that the figures in all the different compartments have reference 
to the same transaction ; and that the whole is the representation of a boar hunt, the 
upper compartment showing the hunters on horseback. The northern side presents 
no figures, but has two serpentine ornaments, which are often seen on monuments of 
this description. 

The cross was measured, in 1774, at the request of Mr George Paton, writer, Edin- 
burgh, by Mr James Cant, editor of "The Muses Threnodie, or Mirthfull Mourning 


on the death of Mr Gall," when the following was the result given :* — Height of 
pedestal, 2 feet 2 inches ; length, 6 feet ; and the breadth, 3 feet 6 inches ; the height 
of the cross from the top of the pedestal, 1 1 feet 9 inches ; its breadth, 2 feet 4 
inches ; and its thickness, 1 foot 2 inches. t The cross is considerably sunk into the 
pedestal, which is one solid block of stone. The weight of the column with its pedestal 
may probably be about 5 tons. " It consists," says Dr Anderson, " of white sandstone, 
similar to Macduff s cross, the nearest locality of which is the Lomonds, about eight 
miles south, with the hilly ridge of the Ochils intervening." This opinion of so skil- 
ful a geologist as Dr Anderson, is peculiarly illustrative of what Mr Cant says in his 
letter to Mr Paton, was the local tradition with regard to these two very ancient 
reliques. " The cross and pedestal," says Mr Cant, " are of freestone, the same with 
that of Macduff's cross, and the antique steeple of Abernethy. Tradition says that 
the stones were dug out of a quarry on the Lomond hills, about five miles south." 
It is certainly rather singular that Sir Robert Sibbald appears to have been ignorant 
of the existence of this interesting monument, as he has omitted any mention of it in 
his History of Fife. 

About three quarters of a mile south-west of M ugdrum cross, is the remains of the 
celebrated cross Macduff, of which so much has been written, both in " prose and rhyme;" 
and of which we have already given an account with copies and translations of the 
inscription alleged to have been at one time visible upon it.| It is situated upon 
the high ground, in an opening of the Ochils, which form a pass from the valley of 
Strathern into the central portion of Fife. This cross is said to have been broken in 
pieces by the reformers on their way from Perth to Lindores, which they also demo- 
lished in 1559 ; and nothing now remains but the large square block of freestone which 
formed the pedestal. This stone is 3 feet 9 inches high ; 4 feet 7 inches in length, by 
3 feet 9 inches in breadth at the base ; and 3 feet 4 inches in length, by 2 feet 8 inches 
in breadth at the top. There are several holes or indentations on its different faces, 
which tradition says were nine in number, and in which nine rings were at one time 
fixed. There is no appearance of any socket in which the cross had been fixed; so 
that it must have been placed upon the surface of the stone, without any other support 
than that of its own base. No remains of the broken cross are to be seen in the neigh- 
bourhood ; and Mr Cant says that the pieces were removed by the inhabitants of 
New T burgh, and built into some of the houses of that town. 

This cross, like that at Mugdruin, was dedicated to St Magriddin, who appears to 

;;; Letter from Mr Cant, Paton Collection, Advocates' Librar; 

t Mr Cant also gives the distance of Mugdrum from various places : from Perth, 6 miles ; from Ecclesia Mag- 
ridin, or as it is now called, Exmagirdle, 5 miles ; from Abernethy, the ancient Pictish capita], 2 miles; from 
the abbty of Lindores, 1 mile; from the west port of Newburgh, 590 yards; from cross Macduff, 1560 yards 
from the river Tay, 1 So yards. 

t See Vol. I. p. 22. 

.■■.■■ i 

99 I G R ['.M C K G>S S 


have been the patron saint of the district, and to whom the church of Ecclesia Mag- 
riden, or Exmagirdle as it is now called, in Strathern, was also dedicated. As already 
stated, however, it is also said to have formed a girth or sanctuary for any of the clan 
Macduff, or related to the chief within the ninth degree, who had been guilty of "suddand 
chaudmelle," or unpremeditated slaughter. In consequence of this privilege, any per- 
son entitled to take advantage of it, and requiring its security, fled to the cross, and 
taking hold of one of the rings, punishment was remitted on his washing nine times at 
the stone, and paying nine cows and a colpendach, or young cow ; the nine cows 
being fastened to the rings. What peculiar or occult quality was considered to dwell 
in the number nine, we do not pretend to be able to explain ; but we see the privilege 
only extended to the ninth degree of kindred, the stone contained nine rings, the obla- 
tion offered to St Magridden was nine cows and a colpendach, the washings were nine, 
and a powerful spring called the Nine Wells, where it is supposed the ablutions took 
place, still takes its rise at no great distance from the cross. This spring, or rather 
collection of springs, is copious, and of the purest quality, and being collected together 
forms a considerable stream, which has lately been profitably employed in the operations 
of a bleachfield. 

The privilege of the clan Macduff is said to have been often claimed, not only by the 
direct members of that powerful body, but by others who considered they were within 
the privileged degree. Among the persons who are said to have claimed the right, and 
to have had their claim allowed, were the laird of Arbuthnot, for being concerned in 
the murder of Melville of Glenbervie, sheriff of the Mearns ; Spens of Wormieston, for 
the murder of one Kinninmond ; and Sir Alexander Moray of Abercairney, who had 
been concerned in the slaughter of one Spalding, in the year 1397. Douglas, in his 
baronage, gives the following statement to show that Sir Alexander Moray was within 
the ninth degree : 


I. Sir Alexander Moray of Abercairney was son of 

II. Sir John Moray of Drumsargard, who was son of 

III. Sir William Moray of Drumsargard, who was second son of 

IV. Sir Andrew Moray, lord of Bothwell and Drumsargard, who was son of 

V. Sir Walter Moray, lord of Bothwell, by a daughter of 

VI. Malcolm, earl of Fife. 

It was on all occasions necessary when the privilege of cross-Macduff was claimed, that 
proof should be given of consanguinity within the limited degree ; and where in any 
case the claimant failed in establishing his right, he was instantly put to death, and bu- 
ried near the stone. There were formerly several artificial cairns and tumuli around 
the cross, and one rather larger than the rest about fifty yards to the north ; but the 
progress of agriculture which has brought the ploughshare over the fields around the 
cross, has now removed all traces of them. These tumuli were supposed to have been 
the burying places of those who had been executed here in consequence of failing to 

VOL. II. z 


establish the necessary relationship ; but no attempt has ever been made to ascertain 
the truth of this report. " Superstition," says Mr Cant, " forbids the opening of any of 
them ; no person in the neighbourhood will assist for any consideration, nor will any 
person in or about Newburgh travel that way when dark, for they affirm that spectres 
and bogles, as they call them, haunt that place." With the removal of the traces of 
the graves it is probable that the superstitious fears attached to the spot will also dis- 
appear, if they be not already among the things that were. 

From the abbey of Lindores to Ecclesia Magridin, or Exmagirdle, in the parish of 
Dron, a distance of about six miles, there was a causeway the wdrole way. Tradition 
says that along this road the monks of Lindores went annually in procession on a visit 
to Ecclesia Magridin, and the nuns of Elcho, and that the nuns met them at Mugdrum 
cross, where they paid their devotions to that patron saint, and thence continued their 
procession to his church. No trace of this causeway now remains, but when Mr Cant 
wrote in 1774, vestiges of it were still in existence in various places. " It was but lately," 
he says, " that a part of it was discovered in Muirmouth, where improvements by ditch 
and hedge began in that part of the muir belonging to the estate of Culfargie. Sir 
Walter Scott has made the traditions and antiquities of this place the subject of a short 
dramatic poem, entitled " Macduff's Cross," in which, with his usual felicity, he has 
embodied correct local descriptions, and the various traditions with which the time- 
honoured relics of this district have been surrounded. 

A short way west of the pass in which stands the cross of Macduff, and on the slope 
of the Ochills, is a small cairn of stones, which is locally known by the name of Sir 
Robert's Prap. It marks the place where a fatal duel occurred about the close of the 
seventeenth century, between Sir Robert Balfour of Denmiln, and Sir James Makgill 
of Lindores. They were near neighbours and intimate friends, although Sir Robert 
Balfour was a young man in his prime, and Sir James Makgill much more advanced in 
life. They had both gone to Perth with their servants on a market day, where Sir Robert 
had quarrelled and fought with a highland gentleman on the street, when Sir James 
Makgill having come up and interfered, put an end to the encounter. In doing this it is 
said he had made some observations as to the superiority of the highlander, which had 
offended Sir Robert, who, chafed and angry, offered next to fight his friend. They 
returned home together on the evening of a long summer day. When at Carpow they 
desired their servants to take their horses, and ascending by the road a considerable 
way up the hills, they stopt at the spot where the cairn is now raised, and drew their 
swords. A shepherd, who was sitting on a higher part of the hills, is said not only to 
have seen what occurred, but even to have overhead what passed between them. It is 
said that Sir James Makgill, who is alleged to have been by far the more expert swords- 
man of the two, made various attempts to be reconciled to his angry friend, and even 
after they were engaged, conducted himself for a time merely on the defensive. But 
from the fury with which Sir Robert fought, he was forced to change his plan, and to 


attack in turn. The consequence of this was that Sir Robert was run through the body 
and died on the spot, when Sir James rode off leaving the corpse to the care of the 
servants. It is said Sir James immediately afterwards proceeded to London, where he 
received a pardon from King Charles II., and a remission from any conseqm 
likely to ensue. Mr Small, in his Roman Antiquities, tells a foolish and very impro- 
bable story of Sir James being obliged by the king to engage an Italian swordsman then 
in London, who had previously acted the bully, but who also fell beneath the skilful 
arm of the Scottish knight. 

XI. Sir James Livingston of Kinnaird, who was one of the gentlemen of the bed- 
chamber to Charles I., was raised to the peerage by that monarch, and took his title 
from the town of Newburgh, being created Viscount Newburgh in 16 17. Having af- 
terwards been excepted from Cromwell's act of grace, he was obliged to retire to the 
continent, where he remained till the restoration, when he returned with Charles II. 
After this event, he was created Earl of Newburgh, Viscount Kinnaird, and Baron Liv- 
ingston of Flacraig, in 1660. His grand-daughter Charlotte Maria, possessed the title 
of Countess of Newburgh for sixty-one years, dying in 1755. Her second husband, 
the Hon. Charles Raclcliffe, third son of Francis Lord Radcliffe, was brother of James 
Earl of Derwentwater. The two brothers engaged in the rebellion of 1715, and the 
Earl was executed, and his extensive estates forfeited. Charles was taken at Preston, 
found guilty of treason, and condemned, but he escaped from Newgate and fled to the 
continent, where he married the Countess of Newburgh. On the death of his nephew 
John Lord Radcliffe in 1731, he assumed the title of Earl of Derwentwater. He sailed 
for Scotland in 17-15 intending to join the Chevalier, when he and his son James Bar- 
tholomew, afterwards third Earl, were taken prisoners. He was committed to the tower, 
and in December 1746, he was beheaded on Towerhill in terms of his former sentence. 
His son, the third Earl of Newburgh, was allowed the interest, during his life, of 
£24,000 raised out of the extensive forfeited estates of Derwentwater, which had been 
vested in Trustees for behoof of Greenwich Hospital ; and the principal sum was settled 
on his son Anthony James, afterwards fourth Earl, and to be paid to him after his father's 
death. The present possessor of the title is the seventh Earl of Newburgh. The 
family now possess no property in Scotland ; and are resident at Hassop, Bakewell in 



I. Leaving the coast of the Tay, and crossing the Ochills to the valley on the south, 
we come to the parish of Strathmiglo, which here forms the western termination of the 
shire, and also the western extremity of the How of Fife, having the Lomond hills on the 
south, and the range of the Ochills on the north. The water of Miglo, which takes its 
origin from two streams, one rising at the south-west, and the other at the north-west 
corners of the parish, flows through the centre of this valley, dividing it as well as the 
parish into two nearly equal parts. This stream, which gives its name to the parish, 
is called the Miglo till it reaches Edenshead, due north from the west Lomond hill, 
after which, during the remaining portion of its course in the parish, it sometimes is 
called the Miglo, and sometimes the Eden. The surface of the parish, to some extent 
on both sides of the river, is generally level or slightly undulating; but on the north 
it stretches up the south side of the Ochills, and on the south rises into the west Lo- 
mond hill. This beautiful conical hill, which forms so conspicuous a feature in the 
general landscape of the district, is the highest hill in Fife, having been ascertained by 
the ordnance survey to be 1721 feet above the level of the sea. 

The form of the parish is that of an exceedingly irregular parallelogram, measuring 
in length, from south-east to north-west, about seven miles ; and from south to north, 
near the middle, about four miles. Towards the eastern extremity it becomes nar- 
rower, and at the village of Strathmiglo it is only about one and one half miles in 
breadth. From this part of the parish a narrow stripe of land, only 50 yards in breadth, 
stretches east about a mile in length along the banks of the Eden, separating the 
parishes of Auchtermuchty and Falkland, and then widening out at the farm of Raecruik 
to about a quarter of a mile in breadth. The parish is bounded by the parish of 
Portmoak, in Kinross-shire, by Falkland and Kettle, on the south ; by Falkland and 
Auchtermuchty, on the east ; by Abernethy and Arngask, on the north ; and by Arn- 
gask, Orwel in Kinross-shire, and Portmoak, on the west. There are eight miles, 
1380 yards, of excellent turnpike roads ; and five miles, 1456 yards, of statute labour 
roads in the parish. Besides the burgh of Strathmiglo, which is situated near the east 
end of the parish, there are three other small villages ; the largest, Gateside, at Edens- 
head, near the centre of the parish ; another, Burnside, containing only a few houses, 
at its western boundary ; and the third, Newbigging, also containing only a few houses, 
situated to the north-west of Gateside. 

The lands of this parish are much more subdivided than they are in several of the 
parishes we have hitherto described ; and the heritors are therefore much more nume- 
rous. The heritors are, 


Patrick Geo. Skene, Esq. of Hallyards, proprietor of Easter Pitlour, Kincraigie, Friarmiln, West Mill of 
Strathmiglo, East Mill and Bleachfield, Strathmiglo lands, Barrington, Easter Cash, Bannety Mill, and Easter 
and Wester Gospetries. 

John Balfour, Esq. of Balbirnie, proprietor of Corstoun and Drumdriel. 

Geo. Cheape, Esq. of Pusk, proprietor of Wellfield and Wester Pitgorno. 

Sir John Hope of Pinkie, proprietor of Corionzion, Balcanquhal, Newbigging, and Caermorc. 

The trustees of Robert Philp, Esq. Edenshead, Nether Pitlochie, and Freeland- 

O. T. Bruce, Esq. of Falkland, proprietor of Cash Mill. 

William Johnston of Lathrisk, Esq. proprietor of Raecruik. 

Mr John Christie, of Easter Pitgorno. 

James Thom, Esq. of Catochil, proprietor of Leaden Urquhart. 

William Gilmore, Esq. of Ballingry, proprietor of Gateside and Upper Pitlochie. 

Mr James Ireland of Bannetv. 

Mr George Lawrie of Lappie. 

The trustees of the late Henry Lawrie, Esq. of Lauceston. 

Mr Richard Storar, proprietor of part of Nether Urquhart. 

Mr Thomas Ireland, proprietor of another part of the same. 

Mr John Ireland of Upper Urquhart. 

John Miller, Esq. barrister at law, proprietor of Urquhart. 

The heirs of Douglas Campbell, Esq. Edinburgh, superior of Cash feus. 

Miss Helen Russel of Mansfield. 

The heirs of George Tod, Esq. W. S. proprietor of Wester Cash. 

Mr James Wilkie of West Bank. 

Mr Xicol, and Mr James Blyth, proprietors of parts of Wester Cash. 

II. The burgh of Strathmiglo, with its several suburbs, are pleasantly situated on the 
level ground which forms the banks of the Miglo or Eden, at the east end of the 
parish. The burgh, and the suburbs called Kirklands, Stedmoreland, and Temple 
lands, occupy the north bank ; and the feus of Wester Cash, and the town feus, the 
south bank of the stream. The burgh consists of one principal street, of rather an 
antique and picturesque appearance, running parallel to the river, with four or five wynds 
running at right angles to it, and a lane called the East and West Back Dykes, pass- 
ins at the head of the °;ardens of the feus on the north side. The Kirklands are 
situated on the south side of the principal street, at its eastern extremity ; the Temple 
lands are also on the same side of the street, about the middle of the town ; and the 
Stedmoreland feus are situated at the western extremity on both sides of the street. 
The feus of Wester Cash form a street rather more than one quarter of a mile in length of 
well built tradesmen's houses, also running parallel with the river ; and the town feus, 
called Eden street, which is only of recent erection, lie in the same direction, to the 
south-west of the western extremity of the Cash feus.* The burgh lies about 54° 17' 
N. Lat, and 3° 5' W. Long, of Greenwich; and is distant from Cupar 11 miles, from 

* A short way south from Cash feus, Mr James Wilkie of Westbank has erected a small, but handsome house 
in the Saxon style, which overlooking the feus and Strathmiglo, is a considerable ornament to this portion of the 
suburbs. Mr Wilkie is feuing out a new street to the east of the house. 


Falkland 3, from Auchtermuchty 2, from Kirkcaldy 15, fronfNewburgh 7, from Perth 
12, and from Kinross 8 miles. 

In 1509, Sir William Scott of Balweary, whose ancestors had long held the lands of 
Strathmido, as will be afterwards mentioned, obtained a crown charter from James IV. 
uniting certain lands possessed by him to the barony of " Strameglo," and erecting the 
whole into one barony, to be called the barony of Strathmiglo. In this charter he also 
received power to erect that town or village into a burgh of barony ; but no advantage 
was taken of this power for 100 years afterwards. In 1600, however, Sir James Scott, 
the fourth in descent from Sir William, granted a charter, of date 22d December that 
year, to nineteen different feuars who held of him, erecting them into a burgh of 
barony ; and by three subsequent charters granted immediately afterwards, he included 
three other feuars who held of him, in the burgh. The whole of these charters 
were confirmed by a crown charter from James IV. under the great seal, of date 26th 
June, 1605. The original of this charter was for a long period amissing, but it has 
recently been discovered in the charter chest of the superior, and is now in the pos- 
session of the feuars. Although for so long a period not in possession of the original 
document, the feuars were in possession of a translation, apparently nearly coeval with 
the original. This curious document, which embodied the four charters of the superior, 
is written on a roll of paper, (the sheets being pasted together,) about fourteen feet 

By the charters, the feuars obtained the usual powers and privileges of burghs of 
barony, of holding courts, exacting fines and customs to be applied to their own use, 
&c. ; and the liberty of " having and holding within the said burgh ane Tolbooth, and 
ane pair of Gallows, and ane weekly market on Fridae, and twa public fairs yearly, to 
witt. : at the feast of Sant Cyralus, being the 9th day of Junij, and the feast of Sant 
Crispian, the 25th of October."* Reserving, however, to Sir James and his heirs to 
appoint the baillies, and admitt the burgesses of the burgh, but with power to the bail- 
lies to receive resignations of the burgage " rudes," and grant entries thereof, but reserv- 
ing to the baron and his heirs the feu duties and the duplications thereof, which the 
magistrates are to hold count to him for. In the tenendos of the charter, power and 
liberty is given of common pasturage on the common muir of Strathmiglo and on the 
greens as well betwixt the mill-lead and the water of Miglo, as on the greens on the 
south side of Miglo, and of casting peats, turfs, and other fuel necessary, and of pastur- 
ing on the common muir. Besides the feu duties and kain fowls for payment of which 
the burgesses held their several feus, they were also bound to shear and in bring the 

* At a much earlier period, there had been a yearly fair or market held at Strathmiglo on Martinmas day, 
which in 1437 was, by charter of James II., ordered to be discontinued, and was transferred to the county town 
of Cupar, where it was afterwards held. It is probable that there was no public fair held at Strathmiglo there- 
after, till the charter of Sir James Scott was granted in 1600, and confirmed by the crown in 1605. 


corns grown on the lands of Readie, when the same should be in the natural possession 
of the superior. 

Immediately after the granting of the charter, the baillies, who were two in num- 
ber, were appointed by the superior, a procurator fiscal was also appointed, and courts 
were regularly held as in other burghs. A jail and town house had stood at this time 
on the north side of the street, immediately behind the cross, a little west of the Kirk 
Wynd ; and here the juggs or gallows were erected, where criminals were punished by 
being fixed in them for a certain period. The records of the baron's court are still 
preserved, and contain many curious cases, illustrative of the habits and manners of the 
period. About the year 1730, after the superiority had passed into the hands of the 
Lords Balfour of Burleigh, the burgesses resigned their old jail into the hands of the 
superior, and purchased the present town-house, which is smaller, but more in the 
centre of the town. I laving obtained a right to the stones of the old castle of Strath- 
miglo from the superior, they, in 1734, erected in front of the town-house a handsome 
steeple, (which still ornaments the principal street,) consisting of a square tower, ter- 
minating in an open balustrade, and surmounted by an octagonal spire 70 feet in height.* 
The space within the foot of the steeple, which is secured by two doors, one of wood 
and another of iron, is used as a lock-up house, when one is found necessary. After the 
passing of the act abolishing heritable jurisdictions, in 1748, the superior having the 
power of nominating the baillies, the burgh of Strathmiglo fell under the sweep of that 
act, and were consequently deprived of their magistrates, a want which they still con- 
tinue to feel. 

Notwithstanding that the burgesses have again fallen into the state of simple feuars 
they are still fully vested in the property which belonged to the burgh, consisting of the 
town-house, town lands, &c. The affairs of the burgh are now managed by a committee 
of the feuars, elected at an annual general meeting of their body, and consisting of a preses, 
six members, and clerk. The common muir over which the feuars had the servitude 
already mentioned, was divided about 1774, between the feuars and the superior, who 
then purchased back all their shares except two, and disponed back to them, in common, 
several small pieces of ground in return. Wlv.'ii the Lomond Hill was divided in 1818, 
the burgh feuars got a small portion in cumulo, effeiring to their private property. This 
was afterwards excambed with the superior for some ground near one of the common-;, 
along with which it is divided among them, according to the extent of their properties, 

* The steeple contains a clock, and ti bell measuring 30 inches in diameter at the base, with the inscription "Strath- 
miglo 17GG, Leder and Pack of London," and the motto "Tempus fugit." In front of the steeple are still seen, very 
well executed and in g lod preservati in, the arm* of the lady Margarel Balfour of Burleigh, the superior at the 
time; and immediately below them, an old stone dial which formerly surmounted the cm--, and is said to have 
been the work of the last Roman Catholic priest of the parish. Here the ju^s or gallows, being an iron collar 
fixed into the wall on one side of the door by a short iron chain, remained until ver) recently, that they have been 


for building. This ground is now called the town feus of Strathmiglo, or Eden street. 
A portion of the land belonging to the feuars, and lying between the town and Cash feus on 
both sides of the Miglo, has been set apart as a town green ; which, from its situation, slop- 
ing towards the stream is an ornament to the place, and as the inhabitants are allowed the 
use of it by the feuars, it is also of great public utility. The feuars also possess a freestone 
quarry in part of their land, which yields them a small revenue. Since they were de- 
prived of their magistrates, there have been no regular officers of justice within either 
the burgh or parish ; and although at one time justice of peace courts were occasionally 
held here, none have been for several years past. Of the two fairs granted to the 
town, one has now fallen into desuetude ; the fair in June being the only one now 
held ; but no customs are now exacted at it. There is a benefit society, " the Strath- 
mi<do Friendly Society," which is in a very flourishing condition, and has done much 
o-ood among its sick members. There is also a mason lodge, the Eden Operative Lodge, 
No. 33, constituted in 1810, with which a friendly society was at one time connect- 
ed, but which has now fallen into decay. The inhabitants have also the advantage of 
a subscription library, which contains a considerable collection of well selected books. 
A band of brass musical instruments, having 16 or 17 performers, was formed in 1832, 
and promises to attain considerable perfection. Strathmiglo is not a post town, but 
there is a penny post office, subordinate to the office at Kinross. No public convey- 
ance passes through either the town or any part of the parish ; and the nearest point at 
which the ccach between Edinburgh and the north of Scotland can be met is at New 
Inn, distant about six miles to the south east. 

The Kirklands, the suburb to the east of the town, and adjoining the manse and 
garden, is held in feu of the Earl of Mansfield, as proprietor of Balvaird. It appears 
to have been the site of the residences of the provost and prebendaries who served in 
the collegiate church during catholic times. The buildings here appear to be as old 
as any within the burgh; one bearing date 1612, and another 1613. The feus called 
Stedmoreland, at the west end of the burgh, were anciently held of the abbey of Bal- 
merino, forming a part of the barony of Pitgorno, belonging to that abbey. Lord 
Balmerino acquired these with the other abbey lands after the reformation ; and at the 
attainder of the last lord in 1746, they were forfeited to the crown. The present 
superior, is P. G. Skene, Esq. The Temple lands are a small piece of ground in the 
middle of the town, which originally belonged to the knights templars ; and after the 
suppression of that order, came with their other lands to the knights of St John of 
Jerusalem, the possessor of the eastmost feu being still held bound by his title to keep 
up " the cross of St John upon the most conspicuous part of his tenement, as the dis- 
tinguishing mark between temple land and burgage property." This small temple 
tenement pays one shilling Scots of feu duty to J. B. Gracie, Esq., the superior of 
the Temple lands in Fife. 

III. The lands of Strathmiglo, properly so called, appear originally to have belonged 


to the crown, as in 1160, Malcolm IV. granted them, with other lands, to Duncan, 
sixth Earl of Fife, on the occasion of the marriage of that nobleman with Ada, the 
king's niece. The superiority of the lands remained with the earls of Fife till the for- 
feiture of Murdo, Duke of Albany, in 1424 ; but, according to Sibbald, the lands were 
held under the earls of Fife, by the Scotts of Balwearie, from about 1251. After the 
forfeiture, the lands continued to be possessed by the family of Scott, under the crown ; 
and they were, with other lands belonging to them, erected into a barony called the 
barony of Strathmiglo. In February, 1509, Sir William Scott of Balweary obtained a 
charter of the lands and barony of Strathmiglo, easter and wester Pitlour, Kilgour, 
Drumduff, Pitscottie, Ceres, Craighall, Demperston, &c, all united into the barony of 
Strathmiglo, with power to erect that town into a burgh of barony. He had also a 
charter from James IV. of the lands of Muirburn in Fifeshire, and two charters of the 
lands of Mugdrum in Fife, with the fishings, and the lands of Glendoick, Fingask, 
Flawrig, and many others in Perthshire.* 

From these charters we see that the Scotts of Balweary were at this period barons 
of great wealth and influence ; and from subsequent charters it appears, that they 

* Douglas Baronage, p. 304. This Sir William accompanied James IV. on his unfortunate expedition in 
1513, was taken prisoner at Flodden, and obliged to sell part of his lands to pay his ransom. He was repeatedly 
afterwards chosen one of the lords of the articles for the barons, and was the only individual under the degree of 
a peer who ever obtained that honour. He was, on various occasions, appointed a commissioner of parliament 
for the decision of legal questions ; and on the '24th of November, 1526, he is styled Justice, in absence of the 
Justice-general, and was in that capacity adjoined to Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie, provost of Edinburgh, (the 
well-known Graysteel of King James V.) and the justice clerk, to do justice on the " malt makaris of Leith, for 
commoune oppressione through the exorbitant derth rasitbe thame, and of ther causing throu all the hail realme." 
— Act Pari. ii. 315. He was on two occasions appointed a commissioner for effectuating a treaty of peace with 
England. On the first institution of the College of Justice on 13th May, 1532, Sir William, as Laird of Balweary, 
had the honour to be nominated the first senator on the temporal side ; but he must have died shortly after his 
appointment, as his second son, Thomas Scott of Pitgormo (Pitgorno), was nominated to his place in Novembi r, 
1532, at which time Sir William was dead. The following is the record of his admission : " The clerk register 
presented a letter from the king, bearing that his grace had chosen Thomas Scot, of Petgormo, ane of the lords, in 
place of umquhile William Scot, of Balwery, knicht, lately deceasit, his father, and desiring the lords to admit him 
vrto, and tak his aith for administration of justice. The s d lords, at the king's command, lies admitted the said 
Thomas to yc said session, and to be yr college in that behalf, quhilk lies sworn in their presens lelely to administer 
justice efter his knowledge and conscience, and to keep all statutes maid hereupon of before." He was a great 
favourite of King James V., by whom he was appointed justice clerk in 1535. He died in 1539, and the following 
are the circumstances as related by Knox (Hist. edit. 1G44, p. 25) under which this occurred :■ — " How terrible 
a vision the said prince saw lying in Linlithgow, that night that Thomas Scot, justice clerk, died in Edinburgh, 
men of good credit can yet report; for, afraid at midnight or after, he called aloud for torches, and raised all 
that lay beside him in the palace, and told that Thomas Scott was dead, for he had been at him with a company 
of devils, and had said unto him these words : ' O wo to the day that ever I knew thee or thy service ; for serving 
of thee against God, against his servants, and against justice, 1 am adjudged to endless torment.' How terrible 
voices the said Thomas Scott pronounced before his death, men of all estates heard, and some that yet live can 
witness his voice ever was, Justo Dei justicio condemnatus sum." Thomas Scott obtained a charter of the lands 
of Titgorno, under the great seal, on 2d January, 1526. 

VOL. II. 2 A 


retained these extensive possessions until after the succession of Sir James Scott, the 
fourth in descent from the above Sir William. In the year 1579, Sir James was 
served heir to his father in the barony, which then contained the following properties: 
the lordship lands of Stramiglow, with the tower fortalice or principal manor ; the 
village or burgh of Stramiglow, with the mills east and west; the patronage of the 
provostry and prebendaries of the collegiate church of Stramiglow ; easter Pitlour, 
westir Pitlour, Kilgour, Leirhope, Dunduff or Drumduff, Dempstertoun and Miln, 
&c, Redy, Drumrichnak, Laingisland called Wairde, Mugdrum, mill and fishings 
in the water of Tay, Craighall with the principal messuage thereof, the third part 
of the village of Seres (Ceres) with the mill, Balquhie, Balltully, Kyngarrock, 
Callinches, the lands of Pitscottie with the mill, Duray (Dura), Rumgally (Rumgay) 
with the mill, Bruntschellis, Cairnis with the mill, and the third part of the lands of 
Pitferrane with the principal messuage, the lands of wester Casche (Cash) with the 
tower and mill, Muirtoun in Tentismuiris (Tentsmuir), and parcels of land at Pit- 
gorno, Falkland, and Ballinbla, the lands of Wemyss, easter and wester, and the lands 
of eister Casche. In the person of Sir James Scott the barony of Strathmiglo was at 
its greatest extent, but with him the wealth and dignity of the family came to an end, 
and the extensive barony they possessed came into the possession of various proprietors. 
Unfortunately for himself, he was not one of those who came first to join in the 
reformation ; and was consequently involved with the popish lords in their various 
rebellions against James VI. He was also, connected with the turbulent and unprin- 
cipled Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, whom the popish lords so often excited 
against the king ; and was repeatedly fined for real or alleged assistance given to him 
in his various mad attempts to gain possession of the king's person in 1591, 1592, 
1593, and 1591. In 15j4, he was with the Earl of Huntly at Glenlivet, when that 
nobleman's desperate attempt at insurrection was defeated ; but for this he received a 
remission in the following year, for which he was no doubt obliged to pay heavily to 
the needy courtiers of the king. In consequence of the numerous fines to which Sir 
James was subjected for the various risings and rebellions in which he had 
been engaged, he was obliged from time to time to sell off various portions of his 
estate, till towards the year 1600, his whole barony was disposed of, excepting 
the tower and fortalice with the lands adjoining, and the village of Strathmiglo. 
Even these small remaining portions were sold, either immediately before or after 
his death.* He had one son, William, but there is reason to think that he died 

* Sir James Scott is among the few Fife gentlemen who are characterised by John Knox as being " enemies 
to God, and traitors to their country.'' His opposition to the reformation, and his connection with the popish 
party, may explain the reason why, notwithstanding his having conferred the honour of a burgh on Strathmiglo, 
his memory has been so little revered by the inhabitants. The traditions of the place represent him as a perse- 
cutor, and the downfall of the family is looked upon as a punishment from heaven for his treatment of the 
reformers. He is also blamed for avarice, (although he certainly made little by it, if he possessed that vice,) and 


before his father. William had also a son, Walter Scott, who, having been deprived 
of any portion of the family estates, through the misconduct of his grandfather, he 
embraced a military life, and rose to the rank of colonel. lie never married, but 
shortly before his death, which occurred in Flanders during the reign of Charles II., he 
sent over from Holland, to Sir John Scott of Ancrum, baronet, the seal of the family 
of Balweary, acknowledging him to be his heir male, which still is preserved in that 
family. The ancient family of Scott of Balweary, at the death of Colonel Walter Scott, 
had continued for sixteen generations, from Sir Michael Scott, who flourished in the 
reign of William the Lyon, the eldest son having always succeeded during that long 
period; and what is still more remarkable, from the time of the original Sir Michael, 
till Sir James, the fourteenth baron, in whose time the estates of the family were lost, 
thirteen of the barons had attained the honour of knighthood, the only exception being 
Duncan, the son of the first Sir Michael. We need hardly add, that the great Sir 
Michael Scott of Balweary, who was equally famous in the literary history of our 
country, as a bright star in an age of darkness, and as an object of superstition in the 
traditions of the people, was the fourth baron and third knight of this family. Sir 
John Scott, of Ancrum, who received the seal and was declared to be the representa- 
tive of the family by Colonel Walter Scott, was descended from Sir William Scott, the 
great-grandfather of Sir James, the last knight of the family. The family is now re- 
presented by Sir William Scott of Ancrum, baronet, whose family seat is in Roxburgh- 

The castle of Strathmiglo stood in the middle of an arable field, a short way east of 
the village, and about 100 yards north-east from the farm steading of the east mill of 
Strathmiglo, on what was called the lands of Cairney, or Wester Strathmiglo, but has 
now entirely disappeared, not one stone of the building being left to mark its site. 
The remains of the large moat, however, which surrounded it on all sides, though 
nearly filled up, sufficiently points out where it stood. It is said to have been erected 
in the reign of James V., who bestowed upon it, rather unaccountably, the nickname 
of Cairney-flappet, from its having been very hurriedly erected. At this time the 
family seem to have left their ancient castle of Balweary, and to have taken up their 
residence here, probably on account of its being so near the court at Falkland. After 
the decay of the family, and the sale of the lands, it is highly probable that the castle 

harshness to the poor. An instance of this latter is still handed down, lie was looking over a window, it is said, 
of his castle of Strathmiglo, situated to the cast of the village, while his servants were throwing a great quantity 
of oatmeal into the moat which surrounded the castle, owing to its being old and unfit for use. An old beggar 
man came to the outer end of the drawbridge, and reque ti d to be allowed to till his wallets with the meal; but 
the haughty baron of lialwearie refused this humble request, on which the poor man pronounced a wo upon him, 
declaring he should beg before his death. It cannot be said that the curse, if ever perpetrated, was literally 
fulfilled, but certainly Sir .lames saw the ruin of his family ; and the tradition still is, that such was his poverty 
at his death, that a subscription was raised among the neighbouring proprietors to pay the expense of his funeral. 


ceased to be inhabited, and was allowed to go to decay, until it was finally taken down 
when Margaret, Baroness Balfour of Burley gifted the stones to the burgesses of 
Strathmiglo, for the purpose of building the tower and spire in front of the townhouse. 

Shortly after 1600, Sir James Scott or his creditors sold the lands of Strathmiglo, 
with the burgh, to Sir Michael Balfour of Burleigh, who was created, in 1606, Lord 
Balfour of Burleigh, the father of Lady Margaret. After the attainder of Robert, the 
fifth Lord Balfour of Burleigh for his connection with the rebellion in 1715, his estates 
were forfeited to the crown; and the lands and burgh of Strathmiglo were, in 1754, 
sold to Balfour of Balbirnie, shortly after which they were acquired by 

General (then Colonel) Skene of Halyairds, the proprietor of Pitlour, whose successor, 
Patrick George Skene, Esq. of Halyairds, is the present superior. 

The lands of easter and wester Cash, which lie south-east of Strathmiglo, formed, 
for a considerable time, a portion of that extensive barony, under the family of Scott. 
Previous to coming into their possession, however, it had had a separate pro- 
prietor, as the old tower where the laird resided stood upon the site of the present 
farm-steading of wester Cash. Tradition still speaks of the sad feuds which occurred 
between the lairds of Cash and the Barons of Balweary ; but the greater power, and 
for a time the better fortune of the latter family prevailed, and Cash was at length 
added to their extensive possessions. The lands of Cash lay too contiguous to their 
lands of Strathmiglo, not to excite a strong desire that they should form a portion of 
their barony. When Sibbald wrote, Cash was the property of Mr James Morrison, 
advocate : it is now divided — wester Cash being the property of the heirs of George 
Todd, Esq., and easter Cash the property of P. G. Skene, Esq.* Proceeding west 
along the south side of the parish, and at the base of the Lomonds, is Barrington, also 

* Previous to Cash becoming a portion of the barony of Strathmiglo, we are told by tradition, that a brownie, 
who resided at the castle of that baronv, used dailv to leave his residence, and cross the Miglo to the tower of 
Cash, by stepping-stones placed where the east mill bridge now stands. Here he used to labour cheerfully, as 
these small, but industrious, yet irritable people were wont to do, in the barn and in the byre, thrashing the corn 
and milking the cows for the poor neighbours of the lordly baron in whose castle he resided. Brownie was never 
visible to mortal, but his labour was daily observed ; and all that he required in return was, that he might be 
allowed to feed out of any dish he thought proper, but which had not been specially set apart for him. To 
offer any direct reward or bribe to a brownie for his services, was, as is known to all versed in fairy lore, to lose 
his valuable services for ever. One morning, after a heavy rain, the river was flooded, and the stepping stones 
covered, so that the servants of Cash remarked to one another, that " Brownie would not be with them that day," 
as they knew there was no bridge nearer than that at the west end of the town, and did not expect he would go 
round so far. Brownie, however, had been more anxious to serve their master than they supposed, and was not 
to be so easilv deterred from performing, as usual, his self-imposed labour. One of the servant maids, who had 
begun with vigour to make her breakfast on a cogful of porridge, had scarcelv taken a few spoonfuls, when she 
found that Brownie was really present, as the whole contents of the dish made a speedy disappearance without 
her farther aid. Brownie was immediately questioned how he had got over the water, when he explained that 
he had gone " roun' by the brig," and hence has arisen a local proverb, " Gae roun' by the brig, as Brownie 


the property of Mr Skene. This farm occupies what was formerly the common tnuir 
of Strathmiglo. Half a mile farther west is Drumdreel, anciently part of the barony 
of Pitgorno, belonging to the abbey of Balmerino, now the property of John Balfour, Esq. 
of Balbirnie ;* west of which is Urquhart, the property of John Miller, Esq., and Upper 
and Nether Urquharts, the property, respectively, of Mr John Ireland, Mr T. Ireland, 
and Mr R. Storrar. Next is Lauceston, belonging to the trustees of the late Henry 
Lawrie, Esq. ; and Lappie, the property of Mr George Lawrie. At the south- 
western extremity of the parish, and west of the Lomond hills, are the lands of easter 
and wester Gospetrie, which, towards the close of the sixteenth century, appear to have 
been the patrimonial estate of Sir David Murray, designed of Gospetrie, second son of 
Sir Andrew Murray of Arngask and Balvaird. Sir David was cup-bearer, master of 
the horse, and captain of the guards to King James VI., who, in 1599, conferred the 
honour of knighthood upon him, and appointed him comptroller of the royal revenue. 
He accompanied the king to England, where he continued high in favour, and received 
many valuable grants of land. Among others he had, in 1601, a grant of the Castlestead 
of Falkland, with the office of ranger of the Lomonds, and forester of the woods of 
Falkland. In 1605 he was created Lord Scone; and in 1620 he was raised to the 
dignity of Viscount Stormont. Gospetrie, easter and wester, is now the property of 
P. G. Skene, Esq. 

Returning to the east end of the parish, and proceeding north of the town, we come 
to easter Pitlour, a handsome house, with grounds beautifully laid out, and ornamented 
with wood, the seat of P. G. Skene, Esq. of Halyairds. Anciently, Pitlour formed 
part of the barony of Strathmiglo, as possessed by the Scotts ; but it was sold by Sir 

* In the middle of a muir at the north part of the Lomonds, south of Harrington, and about half a mile west 
of Kilgour, the well-known Jenny Nettles, (who has given name to a lively and very fine Scotch air, and forms 
the subject of an old song published by Herd, beginning, " Saw ye Jenny Nettles coming through the market,") 
was buried. This unfortunate heroine was a native of the neighbouring parish of Falkland, and was famed through 
all the surrounding country for her great beauty. When Rob Roy took possession of Falkland palace, after the 
battle of SherirFmuir, one of his Highlanders paid too successful attention to the rustic beauty ; and ^he, on being 
deserted by her faithless lover, in a fit of despair put a period to her existence, by hanging herself on a tree at the 
roadside, about halfway between Falkland and Strathmiglo. Her body was, of course, in those days, denied the 
use of a cotlin, and refused to be allowed to be interred in a churchyard. It was conveyed on two rough sticks to 
the muir already mentioned, and there consigned to the earth. Two other females who had committed suicide, 
were subsequently interred in the same place. On a recent occasion, two car-rings and twenty-four beads were 
found in her grave; one of each of which are now in the possession of Mr Fraser, Edinburgh, lapidary to her 
majesty. Another song on this unfortunate female, and to the pretty air commencing " I met ayont theCairney, 
Jenny Nettles, trig and Draw," has recently become a great favourite with young people in Strathmiglo, and 
some of the neighbouring parishes. We do not think it has ever been printed, but it is said to be older than 
that published by Herd. His version appears to have been a kind of burlesque on the unfortunate female after 
her fall, whereas the one now sung celebrates her before that unhappy occurrence. The Cairney alluded to in 
this version of the song, " ayont " which Jenny was met by the rural poet, is the lands on which the castle of Cair- 
ney fiappet stood. 


James Scott to a younger son of Pitcairn of Pitcairn, in whose family it for some time 
remained, till it was purchased by Skene of Halyairds, the ancestor of the present 
proprietor. Adjoining Pitlour is Friar Miln, and north of it is Kincraigie, both at one 
time forming part of the barony of Pitgorno, belonging to the abbey of Balmerino, and 
now to P. G. Skene, Esq. West of Friar Miln is Welifield, formerly wester Pitgorno, 
the seat of George Cheape, Esq. of Pusk. Here there is a good house, and well laid 
out grounds surrounding it. Mr Cheape is descended from James Cheape, Esq., the 
second son of James Cheape of Rossie, the ninth in descent from Cheape of Mawhill, 
the ancestor of the family. North-east of Welifield is easter Pitgorno, the property of 
Mr Christie, which, with Welifield, formed part of and gave name to the barony of 
Pitgorno. As already mentioned, some portion of these lands gave the title as a lord 
of session to Thomas Scott of Pitgorno, a son of Sir William Scott of Balweary ; and 
it would, therefore, appear that a portion of them at least, had been alienated from the 
abbey of Balmerino previous to its dissolution. North-west of Pitgorno is Freeland, 
formerly called Craigfod, the property of the trustees of the late Robert Philp, Esq. ; 
and north of it, on the high ground, Leden Urquhart, the property of Mr Thorn of 

South of Welifield, and on the banks of the Miglo, is Corstoan, the property of John 
Balfour, Esq. of Balbirnie. In the fifteenth century this was the property of John 
Ramsay of Corstoun, who was descended from the house of Carnock, one of the most 
ancient families of the name. * His son, Sir John Ramsay, also of Corstoun, was a 
great favourite with James III., who knighted him, and then bestowed upon him the 
lands, barony and lordship of Bothwell in Lanarkshire, with forty merks of land in the 
baronv of Moneypenny, then in the king's hands by recognition, and raised him to the 
dignity of the peerage, by the title of Lord Bothwell, all which was confirmed to him 
by parliament, 16th February, 1483. He sat as Lord Bothwell in several parlia- 
ments; and remained faithful to his patron, James III., till his death. He was the 
only one of the favourites of that monarch who escaped death at Lauder bridge, which 
he did by leaping upon the king's horse, and clasping him round the person. After 
the death of the king, he was forfeited and fled to England, but he was afterwards 
allowed to return to Scotland, where he w T as only acknowledged as Sir John Ramsay. 
On his return, he acted as a spy for Henry VIII., but this seems to have been un- 
known to James IV., as he obtained a remission and rehabitation under the great 
seal in 1497. He did not, however, in consequence of this, receive back his estates, 
as these were now in other hands; but he received from the king charters to various 
lands in different counties, which the crown had at its disposal. He was the ancestor 
of the Ramsays of Balmain, in the north, and several other families of that name. 
Corstoun appears, however, to have continued in a branch of the family of Ramsay, as 

* Douglas Baronage, p. 33. 


in 16 48, David Ramsay of Corstoun is an elder of the parish ; and in 1669, on the 7th 
February, James Ramsay of Corstoun, paid to the session for the use of the mortcloth 
at the funeral of his father and brother, £5 : 16 Scots. Afterwards this estate came to 
a family, according to Sibbald, of the name of Cahoun (Colquhoun). It is now the 
property of Mr Balfour of Balbirnie. The old tower of Corstoun, the residence of the 
early proprietors, still stands in ruins upon the south bank of the Miglo. 

West of Wellfield is Gateside, the village already alluded to, the older portion of 
which with the lands of Gateside, formed part of the barony of Pitgorno. Here there 
was a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the village being called of old " the Cha- 
peltown of the Virgin."' The lands here are described in old writs as " pecia terrae 
Capellaniaj Sanctse Maria? de Dungaitsyd nuncupata," or as " the aikers of land of 
Sanct Marie's Chappell callit Gaitsyd." The chapel, which had been founded by the 
monks of Balmerino for the benefit of the western part of the parish, stood in a den or 
hollow at the west end of the village, where a rivulet joins the Eden, and which was 
Galled the chapel den, as a well near by was called the chapel well. The lands of 
Gateside now belong to Mr Gilmore. West of Gateside, and on the other side of 
the den alluded to, are the lands of Edenshead, a portion of the estate of Pitlochy ; 
and here formerly stood an old tower, called in some records "the fortalice of Pitlochie," 
it having been the manor place of these lands. Pitlochy, says Sibbald, was anciently 
the inheritance of the Lundens of Balcony. The Rev. Andrew Murray, who was 
minister of Abdie, was created first Lord Balvaird by Charles I., and whose grandson 
David, became fifth Viscount Stormont, had a charter of the lands of Pitlochie in 1636. 
His second son, the Hon. Sir Andrew Murray, obtained the lands of Pitlochie as his 
patrimony, and long resided in the parish, officiating as an elder for many years from 
1663. He was the ancestor of the Murrays of Murray's Hall in Perthshire. Edens- 
head afterwards came to Walter Scott, the fourth son of Sir John Scott of Scotstarvit, 
whose only daughter was married to Charles Erskine, Esq., second son of Henry third 
Lord Cardross, and brother of David fourth Earl of Buchan, of which marriage there 
was no issue. "There is here," says Sibbald, speaking of this period, " a pretty house, 
with good enclosures ;" and at the time Dr Adamson published his edition of Sibbald 
(1804) it was the seat of David Walker, Esq. It is now with Xether Pitlochie,, lying 
immediately to the north, the property of the trustees of the late Robert Philp Esq. 
North-west from Nether Pitlochie, is Upper Pitlochie, the property of Mr Gilmour of 
Balingry and Gateside. To the north of this is Balcanquhal, formerly the property of 
Balcanquhals of that ilk, and now of Sir John Hope of Pinkie ; east of which is Car- 
ionzion also his property, and south west is Newbigging belonging to the same pro- 

* It may be as well to show here in one view the whole extent of this barony, a^ it was possessed by the 
monks of Balmerino. It contained that part of the town of Strathmiglo called Stedmuirland, the lands of 
Friarmvlnc, Kincraigie, Pitgormo or Pitgorno, Craigfod or Freeland, Drumdreil, and Gaitsyde. 


prietor, as is Caermore at the north-western extremity of the parish. South-west of 
Newbigging, and above Burnside, is Bannaty, the property of Mr James Ireland. 

IV. The church of Strathmiglo, which was of old collegiate, and founded for a pro- 
vost and several prebendaries, belonged to the bishoprick of Dunkeld, and was dedi- 
cated to St Martin, from which in old writs the parish is sometimes called Eglais Mar- 
tin. It is not mentioned in the list of religious houses in Spottiswoode's history of 
them, but there is no doubt of the fact, as the patronage of the provostry and preben- 
daries of the collegiate church of Strathmiglo is included in the retour of the service of Sir 
James Scott to his father in 1579- The old church, which stood in the centre of the 
burying ground, was a fine ashler building, in the pointed style, having a nave, 
and a choir at the east end. Many old people yet alive distinctly recollect the eastern 
portion as being designated the " Quire." Immediately adjoining the church on the 
north, stood the Pedagogy, which was usually attached to collegiate churches, where 
the prebendaries instructed the youth of the parish in various branches of education. 
The pedagogy is incidentally mentioned in the town charter of 1600, where it is called 
the " auld school house." In the church yard, there is a fine tablet of white marble, 
beautifully carved and ornamented, and having a long inscription, erected over the 
grave of the Rev. George Gillespie, once minister of the parish. A carved free stone, 
on which is inscribed a text of scripture, is built into the wall of the session house. It 
originally stood over a covered porch which formed the entrance to the burying ground. 
The present church, which is a plain edifice with a small belfry, was erected in 1787, 
on part of the glebe at the eastern end of the town. It is deficient in accommodation 
internally ; and is most inconvenient in its site at the eastern extremity of the parish 
for the parishioners residing in the middle, western, and northern districts. The manse 
was built about two years previous to the erection of the church. * 

* In the year 1669, a Mr Charles Demansell one of the elders of the parish, gifted to the Session four silver 
communion cups for the use of the parish. The following is the entry in the Session records as to this : "1669. 
July 11th, Charles Cowane (Colquhoun) being commissionated by Charles Demansell his godfather, did produce 
to the Sess. foure silver cups in four blake casses conteining them, amounting to the value of foure hundreth 
merks money Scots for the cups, and twell punds for the cases, which his godfather and his umqle spouse Mar- 
garet Melville had now dedicat to the Kirk of Straniiglo for the service of the Lord's table. Appointing yt these 
cups suld remain in the custody of the present minister and his successors, and yt they suld not be lent out in 
borrowing to any neighbouring congregation, but upon treat to retire the samine entire again, with twa dollars 
for the loane of them, toties quoties, and yt the present minister of this place sail now and in all time coming, be 
obliged ay r by themselfs or else by their executors, to deliver the same safe and entire to their successors, and sail 
receive discharges thereupon from the present encumbent." Mr Demansell, who died shortlv afterwards, appears 
to have been a French protestant refugee, who had come over to Scotland, and having married a daughter of the 
house of Halhill, had taken up his residence in this parish. He had been an elder in the parish from 1648, and 
was the last person who resided in the castle of Strathmiglo, then the property of lord Burley. It is to be re- 
gretted, that notwithstanding the care with which he guarded his bequest, the cups, which it is said were very 
beautiful, are not now in existence. During the incumbency of the late Dr Martin, they were, for what reason 
does not appear, sent to the silversmith's, melted down, and new ones made from them. 


At the period of the first reformation from popery, the inhabitants of Strathmiglo, 
like the inhabitants of man}- other portions of Fife, entered keenly into the disputes 
then going on, and warmly adopted the new doctrines. Indeed, the old people of the 
age which has just gone by, delighted in telling, whether true or false we do not pre- 
tend to say, that their native parish was one of four or five which were annually 
cursed at Rome, for their insubordination to the Romish priesthood even previous to 
the reformation. After the establishment of the presbyterian form of church govern- 
ment, it appears to have been adhered to here with great constancy, and amidst much 
persecution from those who endeavoured to re-introduce episcopacy into Scotland. In 
165"), Mr John Rigg, minister of Ferry Port-on-Craig, was translated to Strathmiglo 
by the provincial assembly of Fife, which sat at Cupar, a proceeding which gave great 
dissatisfaction to his old parishioners at the Ferry. "Ther was," says Lamond,* "about 
69 or 70 men and weomen, (bot most weomen) of the parish of Ferry att Cuper; many 
of which vttered, publickly, griuous curses against some of the ministers ther mett, 
for taken ther minister from them, saying that they had the light amonge them, bot 
they had remoued the same." Mr Rigg did not, however, appear the same shining 
light among the people of Strathmiglo, for having conformed to episcopacy, he was 
deserted by the greater part of his congregation, who preferred attending the church at 
Auchtermuchty. Even the very elders, it is said, after having attended at the collec- 
tion at the church door on the sabbath morning, went to Auchtermuchty to worship, 
and came back in the evening to dispute with their own minister in the session house. 

When the dispute became more intense, and persecution began to prevail, the inha- 
bitants of Strathmiglo, and of many of the surrounding parishes, went to the hills and to 
the muirs to hear sermon from, and to worship with, their own outed and persecuted 
ministers. One of the most noted of the wild places in which they sought to worship 
in peace after their own fashion, was " Glenvale," a deep and wild ravine in the Lomond 
hills, where the shires of Fife and Kinross meet, a place now seldom visited by any one. 
At the bottom of the wildest portion of this ravine, is a large rock formed somewhat 
like a pulpit, from which the outed ministers often preached to their harassed flocks ; 
and here, on different occasions, many persons were apprehended by soldiers sent for 
that purpose. The rock is still called the preaching rock. When James VII. passed 
his act of toleration, a place of worship was built at the west end of the town, where 
the parishioners attended worship till the episcopal incumbent was outed at the revo- 
lution. After this event, little seems to have occurred to disturb the feelings of the 
presbyterian people of Strathmiglo, till the period when the secession from the estab- 
lishment under the Erskines, began to spread into the parish. This seems to have ex- 
cited both the fears and the regret of the adherents of the church ; and they in conse- 
quence adopted the most legal, and certainly the least oppressive, mode of proceeding 

* Diary, p. 88. 
VOL. II. 2 B 


against the " intruders," which was by taking a protest against them at one of their field 
meetings, under the hands of a notary public, protesting that they should be held 
responsible for all damages which might accrue inconsequence of their "intrusion" into 
the parish. * It does not appear, however, that any action or process at law ever fol- 
lowed upon the protest. 

; The document is so curious, and withall we believe so unique, that we have been induced to give a cop}- of 
it fr : m the original which is still preserved. 

" At Kincraigie, in the parish of Strathmiglo, the nineteenth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and 
ffourty-one years, and of his Majesty's reigne the ftburteenth year. 
: ' Which day, in presence of me, nottar publick and witnesses under subscribing, compeared personallv David 
Ballingall, David Ramsay, David Reid, William Reid, David Walker, Andrew Ballingall, James Low of Laden- 
urquhart, elders, with some other members of the said kirk session of Strathmiglo, as commissioned by the said kirk 
session ; and went with me and the witnesses after named to the personall presence of Mr Nairn at Abbotshall, and 
Mr Moncrieff at Abernethy, Seceding ministers, and people there assembled, and their hearers and followers, who 
were holding that day at Kincraigie, within the p Irish of Strathmiglo, a Seceding meeting; and then and there An- 
drew Ballingall, one of the above elders choisen and appointed by the other elders above named to read the act of the 
session under written, and to take the protestation therein appointed, he being the elder of that quarter of the parish 
in which Kincraigie lyes ; the said Andrew Ballingall having cively desired Mr Nairn, after he had concluded his 
preface to the said meeting, to stop a little, he did immediately begin to read the said act here following with ane 
audible voice, and before the said Mr Nairn began to pray. At Strathmiglo, the sixteenth day of March, jajvij 
and fourty-one years, the kirk session of Strathmiglo being certainly informed that the Seceding ministers in 
carying on and promoting their most unwarrantable separation from the Church of Scotland, and from all the 
judicatories, ministers, and congregations thereof, yea even from those who had no accession to the evils they 
complain of, but have in all regular ways witnessed against them from time to time, have not only laboured 
earnestly for severall years to cause divisions and rents in this congregation bordering on two of their parishes, 
but that of late Mr Moncrieft' at Abernethy, and Mr Mair at Orwell, have most unwarrantably assumed to them- 
selves a right to enroll several persons in this parish as members of their congregations, taking them under their 
pastorall charge, and that Mr Mair has actually appointed publickly from his pulpitt diets of examination for them ; 
yea, that they are proceeding most unaccountablie to ordain some of our parishioners to be ruling elders for this 
parish, although neither they nor any of their Seceding brethren ever had any jurisdiction in this congregation, 
or within this presbyterie, much less now ; and that in order thereto, ane illegal edict had been publickly served 
at Abernethy on the Lord's day several weeks bygone, without naming either the persons proposed, or the time, 
place, and court, to which it was to be returned ; and that on Sabbath last, as we are informed, they have inti- 
mated publickly from their pulpits in Abernethy and Orwell, a fast and publick meeting to be keept at Kincraigie, 
within this parish, on Thursday the nineteenth day of this month for their ordination ; and that Mr Moncrieff 
did yesterday intimate from the pulpit of Abernethy that any who had any thing to object against those designed 
to be ordained elders for the parish of Strathmiglo (yet still without naming them) should come to Culfargie, 
Tuesday nixt. The Session taking this important affair into their serious consideration, and being convinced and 
deeply sensible that the said proceedings are most unwarrantable, as being contrary to, yea subversive of, the 
good order Christ has appointed, and which has been established and observed in this church since the Reformation, 
and that it is ane open and scandelous intrusion on this congregation, and an unjust invasion of the jurisdiction 
belonging to us the pastor and elders thereof, and also of dangerous consequence to the congregation committed 
to our charge specially, as plainly calculate and tending to promote divisions and rents therein contrary to the 
Lord's word, to prejudge people against and withdraw them from the gospell ministrie and ordinances duly 
established and administrate therein, and so to obstruct the success of the gospell and salvation of precious souls. 
And these proceedings of the Seceders appear evidently the more unwarrantable in them, that they cannot charge 


The average usual attendance at the parish church is above TOO; and the number of 
communicants is above 450. The present incumbent is the Rev. George Middleton • 
the patron is the right Hon. the Earl of Mansfield. The stipend consists of meal, 116 
bolls, 3 firlots, 1 peck, and 3 lippies ; barley, 116 bolls, 3 firlots, 1 peck, and 2 lippies; 
and £8 6s. 8d. in money for communion elements. The glebe contains about 4 acres. 
Besides the parish church, there are two dissenting chapels in the parish. One of these 

our Minister or any member of the Kirk Session with any of the evils they complain of, but must acknowledge 
that he and they have still appeared against them as occasions ottered. Yea, tho' they crv out against intrusions as 
a principal ground, they appear remarkably guilty thereof, by their unwarrantable intrusions on severall parishes 
within this church, duly provided with faithfull gospell ministers, and now more particularly in our parish, wherein 
our minister was settled in a most regular harmonious way, and has continued near fourty-two years to exercise 
his ministry therein with the love and general approbation of the congregation. Therefore, th ■ Session moved 
with zeall for the glory of God and good of the fflock of Christ under their charge, and that they may be 
noways chargeable with the said deeds or any of the bad consequences thereof through a culpable silence on this 
urgent occasion, they did, and hereby we do unanimously, agree, to enter our public testimony and protestation 
against the said deeds ; and for this end we hereby commissionate and appoint David Ballingall of Edenshead, 
David Ramsay, David Reid, William Reid, Baillie Walker, Andrew Ballingall, James Low of Laden Urquhart, 
George Swan, Elders, with as many of the other members of the Session as can conveniently attend, or anv four 
of the Elders above named, to repair to the said meeting appointed by the Seceding Ministers, and there openly 
to read this our act, and deliver to them ane extract thereof; and in name of the Session to protest in the hand 
of a nott. publick against their inrolling any in this parish as members of their congregations, takeing them under 
their charge, and appointing them to attend their diets of examination, more especially to protest against their 
holding their most unwarrantable schismaticall publick meeting and fast within this our parish, and against their 
proceeding to ordain any persons within the same to be Elders, in regaird that the said deeds are most unwar- 
rantable and illegall, yea a scandalous intrusion on this congregation, and ane unjust invasion of the charge and 
jurisdiction committed and belonging to us the Pastor and Elders thereof, and of dangerous consequences, as is 
more fully declared above. And you are ffurder to protest, that if they shall proceed in the foresaid unwarrantable 
deeds, especially to the ordination of any persons in this parish as Elders, that their said pretended ordination is 
to be accounted void and null, and that both the ordainers and they who submit to be ordained by them may be 
lvable to be prosecute therefor according to justice, when the Session shall see meet. And von are to report to the 
Session, and lay before them ane extract under the Nottar's hand of your proceeding accordingly ; and the extract 
of this act is hereby appointed to serve as a commission to you to the ends forsaid. (Signed.) This extracted by 
,1a. Fraiter, Ses. Clk. And after reading of the forsaid act, and commission therein contained, finding that 
Mr Nairne was praying, it was thought fitt to delay ffarther proceeding until! prayer was concluded; and imme- 
diately upon the conclusion of prayer the said Andrew Ballingall did deliver to the said Mr Nairn ane extract of 
the Kirk Session's act above narrated, and which he had openly read to them. And then, in name of, and con- 
junction with the forsaid Elders, and in name of the Kirk Session of Strathmiglo, he publickly protested against 
the saids Mr Nairn and Mr Moncrieff, in terms of the said act and commission therein contained, and for remeid 
of law as accords; and upon all and sundry the premises took instruments in the hands of me Nbttar Publick 
subscribing. These things were done in the personall presence of Messrs Nairn and Moncrieff, and public meeting, 
day, month, and year of God above written, in presence of and before James Couper, maltman in Strathmiglo, 
and George Ballingall, tenant of ffriermilne, with severall others witnesses to the premisses specially called and 

Praemissa Attestor, Will. Beveridge, N. P. 

James Couper, witness. 

George Ballingall, witness. 


connected with " The Reformed Presbyterian Church " * is situated in the town of 
Strathmiglo, and is attended not only by people belonging to the parish, but by many 
from neighbouring and even distant parishes. The average attendance may be above 
200 ; the number of communicants 140, of whom only 90 belong to the parish. The 
Rev. Thomas Martin is the present minister. The other dissenting chapel is situated 
at Edenshead, and belongs to the " United Associate Synod." It is a good new 
building, and there is adjoining it an excellent manse and garden for the minister. 
This congregation is much larger than the one already mentioned ; the average atten- 
dance being above 300 ; and the number of communicants 200. The present min- 
ister is the Rev. Charles Milne. 

Strathmiglo is well provided with schools, there being altogether five in the parish. 
The parish school is situated at the west end of the town. The teacher has a school 
house, a good dwelling house, and garden ; the interest of some small sums mortified 
for the purpose of aiding in the education of the poor, and the maximum salary. 
Here all the usual branches of education are well and cheaply taught ; the number of 
pupils attending is about 150. There is also a subscription school in the town, the 
school house having been built by subscription of the inhabitants. The teacher has 
no emolument but the fees of the pupils. The same branches of education are 
taught as in the parish school ; but the average attendance is by no means so great 
as at the former. There are two other schools which are unendowed, one at Gateside, 
and the other at Burnside ; at both of which the same branches of education are taught, 
and both well attended. The remaining school is an infant school which is partly 
supported by the patronage of Mr Skene of Pitlour, and partly by small fees. The 
school room and dwelling house for the teacher, which are excellent, were built at the 
expense of Mr Skene. 

The average number of poor on the regular roll is 13 ; and there are a few receiv- 
ing occasional assistance. Those on the regular roll receive from Is. to 2s. weekly, 
according to their necessity. The sources of supply are the collections at the church 
door, rent of land, and the interest of money belonging to the session, dues for pro- 
clamation of bans and use of mortcloth, and voluntary assessment by the heritors. The 
amount collected at the church door in 1837, was £27 : 10 sterling.! The average 
amount distributed to those not on the regular poor's roll, may be about £6 sterling 

* This bod}- of dissenters was at one time popularly called " Cameronians,'' from Richard Cameron, whose 
political views they at one time held ; and also " MacMillanites," from the Rev. Mr MacMillan, who was at one 
time a leading minister among them. The designation they give themselves is "The Reformed Presbyterian 
Church." They have no other congregation in Fife. 

t The collections have increased greatly for the last two years : in 1834, the collection was only £10 : 13, in 
1835, £11 : 6. In 1S36, the year of Mr Middleton's admission, the collection was £20 : 5. We are glad to say 
it is still on the increase. 


■ The Heritors support two persons from the parish in the Perth Lunatic Asylum, 
and also in part support a person in the Blind Asylum at Edinburgh ; at an expense 
altogether of about £50 sterling. The Session also pays the house rent for seven poor 
persons, amounting to £9 sterling annually; and from £5 to £6 sterling is annually 
distributed among persons not on the regular poor's roll. 

V. The population of the parish has more than doubled since 1790, when the first 
statistical account wns written. For some time, from the middle, till towards the close 
of last century however, it had been on the decrease. In the year 1754, when the 
Rev. Mr Lyon, who wrote that account, was ordained to the charge, the population was 
1 100 ; next year the return to Dr Webster was 1095. In 1790 it was reduced to 980. 
In 1801, when the first government census was taken, it had increased to 1629; in 
1811, it was 1097 ; in 1821, 1842; and in 1831, 1940. The population at present is 
rather above 2000. In 1837, the population of the old burgh, and one thousand yards 
around, was found on a census being taken by the burgh feuars to be rather above 
1300. The following is the £rovernment analvsis of the census of 1831. 

Males, 20 years of age, 507; total males, 942 ; females, ! ! ; total, 1: . 

families chiefly employed in agriculture, 155 ; families chiefly employed in trade, manufacture.-, 
and handicraft, 235 ; all other families not included in either of these, ' ; total families, 17!. 

Persons occupying land, employing labourers, ^7 ; ditto occupying land, not employing labour- 
ers, 1": labourers employed in agriculture, 141; total persons employed chiefly in agriculture, 

Persons employed in manufacture, 186; ditto employed in retail trade, or in handicraft, as 
master or workmen, 91. 

Capitalists, professional, and other educated men, .". 

Labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 7. 

Other males not included in any of the above (excepting servants) -~>. 

Male servants 20 years of age, (i ; female servants, 58. 

Inhabited houses, S'J5 ; uninhabited, 4 ; building, 

VI. With the exception of the upper portion of the West Lomond Hill, which alto- 
gether may contain about 1128 acres, partly planted and partly in pasture, the whole 
of the remaining portion of the lands of the parish are either arable or under wood. 
There are altogether under wood about 270 acres, of which about 30 acres on the lands 
of Drumdriel is natural wood, chiefly oak and hazel, and supposed to have at one time 
formed part of Falkland forest, which according to tradition skirted the north-west of 
the Lomonds to Kinesswood. The soil differs considerably on the south and north 
sides of the Miglo, but in both cases is abundantly fertile. To the south of that stream 
it is light, and produces fine crops of barley ; to the north it is a rich loam resting on 
a whinstone bottom, and produces heavy crops of wheat and other grains. The system 
of husbandry, and the rotation of crops differs in no way from what has been already- 
described as pursued in other quarters in the district ; the duration of leases, and the 
arrangement for the payment of rent by the fiar prices of grain, is also the same. The 


farm steadings are all well built and convenient, and in general, the whole of the arable 
lands are well enclosed. A considerable portion of the lands in this parish are in the 
natural possession of the proprietors. The extent of the farms range from 150 acres 
to 500 acres ; the greater number being from 250 to 300 acres. Attached to some of 
the mills however, there are farms of much smaller extent ; and several of the inhabit- 
ants of Strathmiglo rent a few acres in the neighbourhood of the village. The cattle 
reared are in general the mixed race, which has unfortunately been allowed to super- 
sede the old Fife breed ; though the latter are not altogether yet extirpated, and it is 
to be hoped will again be cultivated, as they are beginning to be in some other parts of 
the county. Two farmers in the parish have flocks of sheep which they feed on the 
upper part of the Lomonds ; but the other farmers purchase their sheep in autumn, 
feed off their turnips with them, and sell again in the spring. There are 26 thrash- 
ing mills in the parish, eight of which are driven by water, and the remainder by horses. 
The rent of land varies from £1 to £3 per acre ; but there are some fields near the 
town, which let as high as from £4 to £5 per acre. The valued rent of the parish is 
£7068 3s. 4d. Scots. The real rent in 1702 was £2926 sterling. The annual value 
of real property for which the parish was assessed for the property tax in 1815, was 
£8353 sterling. 

VII. The linen manufacture is the chief employment of the inhabitants of Strath- 
miglo, and the other villages in the parish. There is however only one person who 
manufactures linen goods on his own account. This he has continued to do for nearly 
forty years, disposing of his goods in the London market. The weavers are employed, 
through agents, in weaving dowlas and sheeting for the manufacturers of Dundee, 
Newburgh, and Cupar ; stripes and ticking for the manufacturers of Kirkaldy ; and, 
of late, in weaving diaper, damask, and towelling for the manufacturers of Dunferm- 
line. A few are employed also in weaving cotton goods for the manufacturers of 
Glasgow ; and in weaving soft woollen shawls for Tillicultry. Altogether, there are 
about 500 looms employed in the parish in these different branches of manufacture. 
There is one spinning mill in the parish, driven by a water wheel of six horse power, 
and when the water is scarce in summer, by a steam engine of 10 horse power. The 
yarns are one half lint and one half tow, and about 100 spyndles are thrown off per 
day. It employs from 30 to 40 persons. There is also a lint mill for the preparation 
of lint for spinning, which is likewise driven by a water wheel of six horse power. 
Between Edenshead and Courston there is also a wool mill driven by a water wheel of 
the same power. In the immediate vicinity of the town, and upon the water of Miglo, 
there is a bleachfield, at which linen yarn is bleached, and where there is a water wheel 
of the same power. Besides these there are four corn mills, one flour mill, having six 
pair of stones, and a barley mill, all driven by the water of Miglo or Eden. The whole 
amount of power for which this river and its small tributary streams are made efficient 
within the parish, is calculated at 90 horse power. There are two malting barns and 


two breweries for brewing small beer within the town. On the south side of the river 
there are quarries of red freestone, which are pretty extensively worked. The stones 
are very durable, and take on a fine polish ; and are in consequence not only used in 
the neighbourhood and at Auchtermuchty, but are driven as far as Newbur<>h Aber- 
nethy, and Strathearn. Upon the Lomond hill, within this parish, there is an excellent 
white freestone, which has been driven as far as Perth on the north, and Balbirnie 
on the south. It is supposed to have been of this stone that the round tower of 
Abernethy was built; and also that Mugdrum Cross, and the Cross Macduff are blocks 
of it. There are also two quarries of good limestone on the Lomond hill. There are 
besides excellent whinstone quarries on the estates of Wellfield and Kincraigie, the 
stones from which are well adapted for building. Besides these different branches of 
industry, a number of people are annually employed by Mr Balfour of Balbirnie in pre- 
paring bark for tanning from the oak trees in his wood of Drumdriel. 

VIII. Besides the various remains of antiquity which have already been incidentally 
mentioned as occurring in this parish, it is peculiarly interesting as having been the 
scene of at least one, if not more, great battle, at some very remote period. The nu- 
merous cairns and tumuli, in which were found urns and burnt bones, with which its 
surface was covered, stone coffins enclosing skeletons, pits containing quantities of 
skulls, ancient weapons, and various other remains, which have from time to time been 
discovered, all point out this to have been the case ; and tradition confirms the fact, 
that a great battle was fought near a ford on the Eden called Merlsford, in which the 
bloodshed was so great that the river ran red for twenty-four hours afterwards. What 
battle, if there were only one, it has been of which this parish was the scene, or 
who were the parties who had here met in such direful conflict, must be entirely mat- 
ter of conjecture, as history is silent on the subject. That a battle between the ancient 
Caledonians or Britons, and the Romans, has here been fought, seems more than pro- 
bable from the various remains which have been discovered ; and it has been conjec- 
tured that this is the long disputed site of the great battle of Mons Grampius, described 
by Tacitus as having been fought between the Roman army under Agricola in his 
seventh campaign after his arrival in Britain, (supposed to have been in the summer 
of the year 84 or 85) and the Caledonians under Galgacus their brave and warlike 
king. The Rev. Mr Small, who for some time resided at Edenshead, was the first, we 
believe, who suggested this idea; but his work* on the subject, from various causes, 
was not calculated to convince any one of ordinary penetration on this disputed point. 
In the winter of 182 ( .)-30, however, Colonel Millar, who resides on his brother's pro- 
perty of Urquhart, read an essay on the subject before the society of Antiquaries at 

* Interesting Roman Antiquities recently discovered in Fife, ascertaining the site of the great bat- 
tle fought betwixt Agricola and Galgacus, &c, by the Rev. Andrew Small, Edenshead. Edinburgh, 


Edinburgh, which has been since published in their transactions.* Colonel Millar 
having the advantage of long military experience, acquired in active service, being well 
acquainted with the whole localities, and having carefully examined the various Roman 
and British antiquities in Fife, has certainly made out a very strong case in favour of 
this parish having been the scene of this battle ; and we believe that no attempt has 
yet been made to overturn his reasoning upon the subject. 

After describing (from the remains of their camps still existing, the various positions 
which he supposes the Romans to have occupied) at the time of the attack made 
on the ninth legion by the Caledonians, and which, but for the timely arrival of Agri- 
cola, would have ended in the destruction of that portion of the Roman army, he con- 
ceives the Romans to have taken up a new position on Dunearn Hill, where they spent 
the winter, having regular communications with their fleet lying in the harbour at 
Bruntisland, while the Caledonians retired to the summit of the ridge which connects 
the east and west Lomonds, where the remains of the Fort they occupied, (now called 
the Maiden Castle, and situated in the parish of Falkland) and several smaller forts which 
they had constructed, and from whence they could watch the future proceedings of the 
invaders, are still to be traced. From Dunearn Hill, the Colonel supposes the Romans, 
at the opening of the seventh campaign, to have removed to Markinch, where they were 
at no great distance from the Caledonian army. Their next movement appears to have 
been due north across the plain, until they passed the east end of the Lomond Hill, 
when they turned shortly round to the west, and Agricola " posted himself at the base of 
the Greenhill opposite Falkland pass, where he constructed those extensive lines which 
existed quite entire until about 40 years ago." " We have no reason," says the Co- 
lonel, " to suppose that Agricola made any attack on the Caledonians, as the historian 
is silent on the subject; nor, as I have stated, do I conceive that to have been his ob- 
ject, but to draw them into the plain, that he might then act against them with greater 
facility." From whatever cause, the Romans seem to have relinquished this position, 
and to have marched about four miles north-west, to the hill above Pitlour, (in the 
parish of Abernethy) where there is the remains of an ancient fort, still called the 
Roman camp. Here they were in easy communication with their fleet, and would be 
well supplied with provisions ; while the Caledonians, cut off from supplies from the 
north, would soon begin to feel the want of them, as they could not be afforded from 
the south, already ravaged by the Roman army and fleet. 

Forced to fight, as the Colonel conceives from the want of provisions, the Caledo- 
nians appear to have descended from their position by a place called the Hoglayers, 
and through the lands of Urquhart towards Merlsford; and Agricola lost no time in 
descending from his camp to meet them. The position of the Caledonians previous to 

* An Inquiry respecting the site of the battle of Mons Grampius, by Col. Millar, C.B., F.R.S., 
London. Transactions of the Antiquarian Society of Scotland, vol. IV T . p. 1. Edinburgh, 1830. 


the battle appears to him to have been between the house of Urquhart and the ford; 
while the Romans had their first line between Wellfield and Courston Mill, and their 
reserve on the heights at Kincraigie. Crossing the Eden at Merlsford, the Caledonians 
had attacked the Romans where they were posted; and here great carnage had taken 
place, as in the immediate neighbourhood of Wellfield House, a large cairn stood, until 
within the last thirty years, about 130 yards in circumference. " Upon being removed 
it was found to contain urns, bones, stone coffins, many remains of arms completely 
oxidized, and a deer's horn. About 150 yards south-east from that, a good many bones 
were dug up this season (1828), and a stone coffin, containing a skeleton, four feet under 
ground ; further on, towards the left of the line, urns were dug up a good many years 
ago, and to the west of the great cairn stood another, removed about forty years ago, 
which though smaller, had been erected with great care, and was surmounted by seven 
upright stones. It contained urns and bones, and was supposed to have been the burial 
place of persons of distinction." When that portion of the Caledonian army was re- 
pulsed which had crossed the river, they appear to have retired to the west, along the 
north bank of the Eden, and "a person of distinction seems to have fallen there, 
as a large (memorial) stone formerly stood on the spot, and upon removing it a stone 
coffin was found under it." The remaining portion of the Caledonian army now appears 
to have crossed the Eden at the same ford, and to have been there attacked by a part 
of the Roman army ; and there the slaughter appears to have been also great, as at a 
place a short way west of the ford, a labourer employed by Colonel Miller's father 
"about forty-two years ago, in digging a ditch to fence a piece of planting, found so 
many sculls and human bones, that he went away and left the work." To the south-west 
of this place a large cairn of stones formerly stood, containing upwards of 2000 cart- 
loads of stones; upon removing which " about thirty years ago a pit six feet long, two 
feet broad, and of the same depth was found, quite full of burnt bones, and near it 
another two feet square, filled with fine sand. An urn was also found, near the surface 
of the cairn, full of bones." South of the place where the sculls were found, a tumulus 
still exists ; but although it has been dug into, nothing has yet been found in it; and a 
short wav farther south, "where a barrow formerly stood, bones were found, and 
a few years ago, some distance east from that, a bronze battle-axe." The whole 
of these last mentioned localities, where so many remains have been found, are on the 
south side of the Eden, and on the lands of Urquhart. Near Courston Mill, on the other 
side of the Eden, the handle of a sword, with a small part of the blade attached to it, 
was turned up by the plough about twenty years ago. 

North of Gatesidc, and west of Wellfield, " a vast cairn stood until about forty-two 
years ago, and there the last stand of the Caledonians in a body seems to have been 
made. Upon removing this cairn, many bones were found, and great quantities of 
iron. Many of the pieces were very small, so as to be called knives and forks by the 
workmen. Others again were very large ; too much so, one might almost suppose 
vol. n. 2 c 


from the account I have had of them, even for the enormes glodios of the Caledonians. 
None of them have, unfortunately, been preserved, as they were probably completely 
oxidized, and reckoned of no value. Great numbers of beads were also found in the 
cairn, and distributed about the country at the time, as curiosities." Still farther west, 
near Bannaty, a very fine cairn formerly stood. It was sunk five or six feet under 
ground, and raised about four feet above it. Many burnt bones were found in it, and 
some urns of superior workmanship, which were wantonly destroyed by the workmen. 
On the higher part of the ridge of the Ochils, north and west from this, the Caledo- 
nians appear to have made a farther stand ; and here again considerable carnage had 
ensued, as north of Balcanquhal, some urns were found, fifteen or sixteen years ago, 
which were full of bones. One of these, which Colonel Miller saw, was preserved 
sevaral years, when it was accidentally broken ; after which, not only the urn, but 
the bones crumbled into dust. Besides these relics we have mentioned, others have 
been found in different parts of the parish, which all add to the probability of the fact 
of a great battle having been fought, and that the Romans had been here. About 
fifteen years ago, eighteen or twenty battle-axes and spear-heads, or javelins, were 
found together in a bog in the lands of Gospertie, all of bronze. The spears or jave- 
lins are small, with a socket for the handle. Several celts or stone battle-axes have 
also been found on various parts of the field of battle. About a mile north-west from 
Wellfield, a silver coin of Domitian, and a hand mill were found, a few years ago, both 
of them in excellent preservation, and the latter of very good workmanship. Near 
Balcanquhal, in the north-western part of the parish, six or seven vessels were found 
some years ago, consisting of culinary pots, and a kind of small tripods, all of bronze. 

Without giving any opinion on the subject, we have given a short abstract of Colonel 
Miller's paper on the battle of Mons Grampius, and have shortly stated the grounds on 
which he conceives this parish to have been its site. The question has been long dis- 
puted, and in a previous part of this work we have given the generally received opinion 
on the subject. Certainly much might be said in favour of Colonel Miller's view ; and 
it is worthy of remark, that probably in no part of Scotland, and certainly in none of 
the places which have been suggested by others as the site of this great battle, has such 
evidence remained till modern times, of a great struggle and a dreadful carnage, as here. 
The question however is one not to be finally decided, and which must remain a qucstio 
vexata in the history of our country. 

This parish, and the surrounding district, appears also to have presented, until re- 
cently, various Druidical remains, which pointed it out as having been a seat of the 
priests of that ancient religion. Upon the summit of the West Lomond Hill there is 
still existing however a large cairn, 1 12 yards in circumference, and of considerable 
height, the whole of the stones composing which must have been brought with great 
labour from the bottom of the hill. This has obviously been a Druidical cairn of sacrifice, 
not one of memorial, as the name of the hill still implies; the British word Llummon, 


signifying the hill of fire. On this cairn then, it may be presumed, the large flat stone was 
placed on which the sacred fire was lighted ; and that here the priests of Druidism per. 
formed the rites of their Pagan worship. That we are fully justified in assuming this to 
have been a cairn of sacrifice, is confirmed by the statement of Colonel Miller, in his Inquiry, 
that on the level ground which forms the summit of the ridge between the two Lomonds, 
there were no less than eight Druidical temples, though the stones of most of them are 
now removed — by the fact that another Druidical temple stood immediately below the 
house of Urquhart, between it and the Miglo ; and by the farther fact that the bards, an 
order of the Druidical priesthood, had their residence on a portion of the lands, forming a 
part of the Ochils on the opposite side of the valley of the Miglo, as appears from the 
name it still retains, — Balvaird, meaning the town of the bards. At the base of the West 
Lomond Hill there still remains a very singular relic, which has much the appearance of 
having been a Druidical cromlech. This remain consists of two stones, one of which, 
a block of freestone, forms a pedestal about 12 or 13 feet in height, and above this a 
considerable portion of the block is cut away, leaving in the centre a smaller pillar of 
about three and a half feet in height. On the top of this is placed the second stone, 
which is flat like a table, and of a triangular form. It measured originally about twenty 
feet in length, along the base of the triangle, about ten feet in breadth at the centre, and 
about two and one half feet in thickness. About four feet has been broken off the 
southern angle, the fragments of which are still lying at the foot of the steep bank on 
which this singular monument stands. The northern angle of the upper stone projects 
about nine feet beyond the pedestal on which it rests, and the southern angle, previous 
to its being broken, had projected equally far. There is every reason to believe that the 
form of this singular remain is in a great part natural ; but there is also reason to think 
that it has been aided by art. It is therefore extremely probable that its peculiarity of 
shape was taken advantage of by the Druids, of whom we have so many other remains 
in the immediate neighbourhood ; and formed one of those cromlechs,* which were 
used in their worship, and which are often found in retired situations, such as the site 
of the one we have here described. Here then also, as on the cairn at the summit of 
the hill, the sacrifices of the Druids have been performed. 

* The form Cromlech has received various derivations. Toland, Mon. Antiq. p. t7, brings it from 
Babel in the form of Ccer^em-lech, or Carem lunch, a devoted stone or altar; be also mentions a deri- 
vation given by a Scots Highlander, which is Cro/n, bent or crooked, and lech a corruption of clach, a 
stone; hence Cromlech, the stone that was bowed towards, or the stone of adoration. Borlasse says 
it means the crooked stone. Chalmers inclines to think it is from Crom, which in the British and 
Irish signifies bent or inclined ; and Llec/i (Brit.) and Leac (It.) which mean a flat stone: whence Crom- 
lech literally signifies the inclined fat stone, which is descriptive of the upper stone in all Cromlechs. 



I. The greater portion of this parish is in the county of Perth,* but a small part of it, 
occupying the higher ridge of the Ochils, and lying immediately north of the eastern 
part of the parish of Strathmiglo, is within the county of Fife. It forms an irregular 
parallelogram of about two and one half miles in length from east to west, by one and 
one halt* miles in breadth from north to south ; and contains two miles 270 yards of turn- 
pike roads, and 1360 yards of statute labour roads, besides country roads. Lying high 
among the upper ridge of the Ochils, its surface is very irregular, forming a succession 
of hill and valley ; but the soil resting upon trap rocks, is, with the exception of the 
tops of some of the hills and the portions under wood, fertile, and under a high state 
of cultivation. From the summits of the hills many beautiful views are to be obtained, 
extending over the whole How of Fife to the south-east, and the fair valley of Strathern 
to the north-west. Nor is its own surface destitute of picturesque and beautiful scenery ; 
Glenfarc at its western boundary, through which the turnpike road from Gateside to Strath- 
ern passes, presenting various exceedingly picturesque scenes ; and the glen through 
which is the road from Strathmiglo to the head of Abernethy glen, also presents several 
scenes of considerable interest. This part of Abernethy parish is bounded on the south 
by the parish of Strathmiglo, on the east by the parish of Auchtermuchty, on the north 
by that portion of the parish of Abernethy which is in the county of Perth, and on the 
west by the parish of Arngask. 

The population of this part of the parish has varied little during the present century, 
though it has, upon the whole, increased. In 1801, it was 133 ; in 1811, 122; in 1821, 
150 ; in 1831, 164. The number of males in 1831 was 84, the number of females 80. 
The number of families 28, of which 27 were chiefly employed in agriculture, and one 
in manufactures. There were then 7 occupiers of land employing labourers, and 26 

* The portion of the parish in the county of Perth seems to have formed, with other lands, the 
great lordship of Abernethy, which was granted by William the Lyon to Orm, the son of Hugh, wl»se 
posterity in consequence assumed the name of Abernethy. In 1329, John Stewart, Earl of Angus, 
married Margaret Abernethy, the daughter of Hugh de Abernethy, great grandson of Hugh the son 
of Orm, and got with her the lordship of Abernethy. In 1389, on the resignation of lady Margaret 
Stewart, sister of Thomas the third Earl of Angus, Robert II. granted the earldom of Angus, with 
the lordships of Abernethy and Boukyt, to George de Douglas, her son. No portion of the lordship 
of Abernethy now belongs, in property, to the present lord Douglas, but he has still the superiority of 
a part. The barony of Balvaird, although within the parish, never appears to have formed any por- 
tion of the lordship of Abernethy, and this may account for the lands which formed this barony, be- 
ing in the county of Fife, while the lands forming the lordship are in the county of Perth. 


labourers employed in agriculture. The parish church is situated in the village of 
Abernethy, and within the shire of Perth. Here the celebrated round tower stands, a 
singular relic of antiquity, of which there is only one other example in Scotland, that 
of Brechin, although there are many still existing in Ireland. The annual amount of 
real property for which this part of the parish was assessed in 1815, was £1,496 ster- 

II. The lands of Balvaird, lying in the western portion of the parish, were anciently 
the property of the Barclays of Kippo, a branch of the great family of the Barclays, 
lords of Brechin, and which nourished for a long time, says Nisbet,* in honour and 
lustre, till the reign of James IV., when James Barclay of Kippo died without male 
issue. His daughter, Margaret Barclay, " domina de Arngask et Balvaird," married 
about 1491, Sir Andrew Murray, second son of Sir William Murray of Tullibardine. Sir 
David Murray of Gospertie was the second son of Sir Andrew Murray of Balvaird, the 
grandson of the first Sir Andrew and of Margaret Barclay his wife. As already men- 
tioned, Sir David succeeded to the lands of Balvaird and barony of Arngask on the 
death of his nephew, Sir Andrew Murray of Balvaird, and was created Lord Scone and 
afterwards Viscount Stormont, by James VI. On his death, the Rev. Andrew Murray, 
minister of Abdie, as mentioned in the account of that parish, succeeded to the estates 
of Arngask and Balvaird, and was created Lord Balvaird, by Charles I. His son, 
David, second Lord Balvaird, succeeded to the title of Viscount Stormont on the death 
of James, Earl of Annandale, in 1658, and his great-grandson David, seventh Viscount 
Stormont, succeeded his uncle as Earl of Mansfield in 1793. The greater portion of 
the barony of Balvaird is now in the hands of different persons, who hold in feu of the 
Earl of Mansfield, with whom the superiority still remains. 

The ruins of the castle of Balvaird, the ancient residence of the family, are still seen 
crowning the summit of a small eminence to the east of the road which leads from 
Gateside through Glenfarg. It consists of a lofty square building, forming the keep 
or principal strength, and some lower buildings, and walls enclosing a court-yard. 
The principal building is 48 feet in length from north to south, 43 feet in breadth from 
east to west, and four stories in height. The lower part has been occupied by the 
kitchen and cellars, which are strongly arched over with stone ; and the flat immedi- 
ately above is the great hall, which appears not only to have been a large room, but 
verv handsomely decorated. The roof of this room has now almost entirely fallen in, 
but enough of the cornice which surrounded it still remains to show that it had been 
richly ornamented with stucco work. On the north side of this room, near the fire 
place, is a small niche or recess in the wall, ornamented by pointed arches and taber- 
nacle work, which has much the appearance of a shrine, such as are often seen near 
the places where the altars of chapels stood in ancient churches. No date can now be 

* Heraldry, vol. II. App. p. 2U. 


traced on any part of the building, but there are the remains of several coats of arms, 
almost wholly obliterated, on different parts of it. Above the door, which opens 
into the principal building from the court-yard, is a shield on which two coats of arms 
are emblazoned. They are very indistinct, but they appear to be those of Margaret 
Barclay and her husband, Sir Andrew Murray ; and if this be the case, the building 
must be as old as the reign of James IV. In the open green, in front of the castle, 
lies the recumbent figure of a female carved in freestone, which has obviously formed 
part of a monument. The stone was brought from the old church of Arngask at the 
time it was taken down, and is said to have been the monument of Lady Margaret Bar- 
clay, who married Sir Andrew Murray, and brought with her the baronies of Balvaird 
and Arngask. 

East of Balvaird is Pituncarty, the property of the heirs of Keyden, Esq. ; 

and north of it Glentarkie, which Sibbald describes as " a pretty new house, belonging 
to one Watson/' It was afterwards the property of Skene of Hallyards, and now be- 
longs to John Pratt, Esq. Directly north from Balvaird, and on the borders of Perth- 
shire, is Catochill, the property of Mr Thorn of Leden Urquhart in the parish of Strath- 
miglo. In the eastern part of the parish, where it borders with Auchtermuchty and 
Strathmiglo, is a portion of the lands of Wester Pitlour in this parish, the property of 
Mr Skene ; and north of it are Auchnary, Rutland, &c, also the property of Mr Skene. 
III. On the summit of a hill immediately behind Pitlour, and in this parish, are the 
remains of an ancient fort, called the Roman camp, which Colonel Miller in his essay, 
as we have mentioned in the account of the parish of Strathmiglo, supposes to have been 
occupied by the army previous to the great battle in the plain below. The sides of this 
hill, except on the north-east, where it is connected with the general range of the Ochils 
are steep, and it rises about 400 feet from its base. The summit is surrounded by a 
chain of rocks upwards of 300 yards in circumference, which forms a sort of natural 
citadel, and is still called the fort. It has besides been well fortified ; and many of the 
stones used for that purpose have been brought from a great distance. Upon clearing 
the ground for planting it in 182S, the road leading to it, laid with stone, was laid open. 
The entrance on the east side was also discovered cut through the rock, and the pavement 
in the inside quite entire. Upon digging, many human bones were found, both within 
and without the circumference of it, also the bones and teeth of horses. A little below 
the summit, and on the side facing the Lomond hill, the slope was cut into terraces, similar 
to those at Markinch, with this difference that these seem to have been faced with stone. 
They are now all levelled but one, which is used as a farm road.* Although this fort 
may have been occupied by the Romans, there seems little reason to doubt that it had 
previously been a British fortress, and that it had even subsequently been used by that 
people for the same purpose. 

* Colonel Miller's Essay, pp. 21, 22. 


North-east of Balvaird, on a liill called Beinslaw, there is a British fort, which has been 
fortified with considerable trouble. The sides of the hill are scarped all round, and a 
rampart of earth has been thrown up which surrounds it. It is about 133 feet in cir- 
cumference. In the neighbourhood of this fort some years ago, two small cairns were 
opened, in which were found two stone coffins containing the ashes of burnt bones ; 
and in one of them a small urn of burnt clay neatly ornamented, and about the size of 
a breakfast cup. At Dunbarrow there appears to have been another British fort, the 
vestiges of which are still to be seen ; and another on a high rocky eminence at the 
head of the glen of Abernethy, called the Craig of Petenbroigh. Here also there were 
several small cairns, now removed. North of Petenbroigh, and on the very boundary 
of the shire, near where some roads meet, is a large stone, called the hurle stone. The 
stone is hard whinstone, but has a hole in it, into which it is said the standard for the 
weights of a great fair at one time belonging to Abernethy, and held here, was inserted. 
It is said the fair was principally for the sale of wool, which was weighed at this stone. 
Near Balvaird is a Druidical remain worthy of being noticed. This is a large stone 
placed upon another, which formerly bv a " slight touch rocked to and fro." Sir Robert 
Sibbald says he had been informed that this rocking stone had been destroyed by the 
soldiers of Cromwell when he was in Scotland ; but this must have been a mistake, as 
the stone still exists, and is to all appearance only prevented from still rocking by the 
earth and gravel with which it is choked up. The name, Balvaird, which is the British 
Balbhaird, the town or dwelling place of the bard, shows that the Druids had a place 
of worship in the neighbourhood, as the bards were one of the orders of their priest- 



I. West of Abernethy, and north of the western portion of Strathmiglo, is a small part 
of the parish of Arngask, which is within the county of Fife. Like Abernethy, it oc- 
cupies the upper part of the Ochils, and forms the westernmost portion of those hills 
in the county. The parish of Arngask lies partly in three counties, two other portions 
of it lying in the counties of Kinross and Perth. The part of Arngask within the county 
of Fife, is two miles in length from east to west, and about one and one half miles in 
breadth from north to south. It is bounded by Strathmiglo on the south, by Abernethy 
on the east, by that part of the parish which is in the county of Perth on the north, 
and by the remaining portion of the parish in the county of Kinross on the west. It 
contains 840 yards of turnpike roads, and seven miles 7 1 yards of statute labour roads ; 
besides which the road to Perth through Glenfarg, though not in the county, passes 
for more than two miles along its northern boundary. In 1801, this portion of the 
parish contained 176 inhabitants ; in 1811, 201 ; in 1821,222; and in 1831,205. The 
number of families in 1831, was 46, of which there were 20 families employed chiefly in 
agriculture, and 7 in manufactures or handicraft ; the remaining 19 families being com- 
prised in neither of these classes. The number of persons occupying land employing 
labourers, was 7 ; and there was the same number of persons occupying land who 
did not employ labourers. The number of labourers employed in agriculture was 13. 
The number of persons employed in manufactures was 3 ; and the number employed 
in handicraft, as master or workman, 5. The number of labourers employed in labour 
not agriculture, was 14 ; and the number of female servants, 19. The amount of real 
property for which this portion of the parish was assessed in 1815, was £895 sterling. 
II. The barony of Arngask, or Forgie, as it was sometimes formerly called, belong- 
ed of old to a family of the surname of Friseley, a branch of the very ancient name of 
Frisel, or Fraser as it is now written. Gilbertus de Friseley, dominus de Forgey, made 
a donation " Deo et ecclesiae beatae Marioe de Cambuskenneth, et ibidem canonicis deo 
servientibus, illam partem terra: quae jacet propenquior domui, quae est sacerdotis in 
territorio de Arngosk, una cum jure patronatus ecclesiae de Arngosk," This deed is 
confirmed by William, Bishop of St Andrew's, die Mercurii proxima post festum ex- 
altationis sanctae crucis 1281. He was succeeded by Henricus de Friseley, who sexto 
calendas Au°-usti 1295, gave to the same Monastery molendinam de Arngosk pro sa- 
lute animae suae. After this Henry there is Gullielmus de Friseley, mites dominus de 
Forney, who ratified the deed of his predecessor of the miln of Arngask to the abbey 
of Cambuskenneth ; which was again ratified by a charter under the great seal of 
Robert I., dated at Glasgow, decimo die Junii, anno regni sui nono, (1316). This 


family at length ended in an heir female, who in 1332 married Sir Richard Barclay of 
Kippo, descended from the Barclays, lords of Brechin ; and (he barony of Arngask 
thus came into that family. The Barclays of Kippo and Arngask continued to flour- 
ish until, as already mentioned, they also ended in an heir female, who married Sir 
Andrew Murray, who with her obtained the baronies of Kippo, Arngask, and Balvaird, 
and from whom the present Earl of Mansfield is descended.* 

The barony of Arngask, like that of Balvaird, is now divided among different pro- 
prietors. Conland, which is in the centre of this portion of the parish, was early sepa- 
rated from the rest, though only for a time. James Murray, second son of the above 
Sir Andrew and Lady Margaret Barclay, obtained these lauds in feu from his father ; 
but his issue having failed, they again returned to the family. It is now the property 
of William Murray, Esq. The lands of Arngask are now the property of John Whyte, 
Esq. ; and Pitilloch, anciently Pitpolloek, is the property of Andrew Coventry, Esq., 
Advocate. It was nearthe latter place, that Duncan, Earl of Fife, the eighth in descent 
from Macduff, was murdered in 1286, by Sir Patrick Abernethy and Sir Walter Percy, 
at the instigation of Sir William Abernethy of Salton. 

Lady Margaret Barclay, with consent of her husband, Sir Andrew Murray, and Iicr son, and heir- 
apparent, Sir David Murray, founded and endowed a chaplainry in the parish church of Arngask, " in 
honorem Dei e( sanctae individuae Trinitatis, Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti,et beatae Marias el beats 
Columbae, patronas ecclesiae de Arngosk, with an annuity of fourteen merks and two acres of land, 
lying contiguous to (lie church, pro prosperitate serenissimi principis Jacobi quinti regis Scotorum ; 
also for the health and welfare of themselves, (heir heirs, and successors, et omnium fidelium defunc- 
toruin. This charter of mortification bears date apud castrum nostrum de Balvaird primo die mensis 
Augusti, l"i!7. — Nisbet's Heraldry, vol. II. App. p. 21 1. Sir Robert Sibbald, in his History of Fife, 
p. 4-01, says, "the Kirk of Aringosk being only a chapel, was anno 1282, given to the abbacy of 
Cambuskenneth, by Gilbertus de Frisley, dominus de Forgy: and anno 1527, Margaret Barclay, lady 
of the barony of Aringosk, with consent of Sir Andrew Murray, her husband, and Sir David Murray, 
her son, erected the chapel into a palish church.' 1 Sir Robert is here mistaken. The church of 
Arngask was a parish church at, the time it was granted to the Abbey of ('ambu^keiinclh by Gilbert 
de Frisley; and lady Margaret Barclay, instead of erecting a chaplainry into a parish church, 
founded a chaplainry or altarage within the parish church. 

VOL. n. 




I. The parish of Auchtermuchty, which has been rendered much better known than it 
Avould otherwise have been, from its being the scene of the incidents detailed in that 
inimitably humorous Scottish poem, "The Wife of Auchtermuchty," alleged to have 
been written by James V., and first published by Pinkerton, lies cast of the parish of 
Strathmiglo, on the north bank of the Eden, thus occupying a part of the How of 
Fife, and stretching towards the north, over a portion of the range of the Ochils, till 
it joins the parish of Aberncthy. It is but a small parish, measuring only about two 
miles and a quarter in length, from east to west, and scarcely two miles in breadth, 
from south to north. On the east it is bounded by Collessie ; on the north by 
that portion of the parish of Abernethy which is in the shire of Perth ; on the west 
by Abernethy and Strathmiglo ; and on the south by the river Eden, and the long 
narrow stripe of the parish of Strathmiglo, which, stretching westward along the south 
bank of the river, till, at Raecruik, it joins the parish of Kettle, separates the parishes 
of Auchtermuchty and Falkland, and although in the immediate neighbourhood of each 
other, prevents their joining in any part. The southern part of the parish, forming the 
low grounds on the Eden, are level and flat, but towards the north, the parish becomes 
hilly, and at its extreme north boundary, rises to a considerable height on the Ochils, 
commanding a variety of beautiful views of the surrounding country, particularly of the 
valley of the Eden. The parish is well provided with roads, the great road from Cupar 
to Kinross passing through it from east to west, and the road from Kirkaldy to New- 
burgh also passing through it from south to north. The total extent of turnpike roads 
in the parish is 4 miles 1480 yards, and of statute labour roads 4 miles 522 yards. 

The heritors of the parish are, as in the parish of Strathmiglo, very numerous, 
amounting in all to about 52. The following are those whose lands are rated at above 
£30 Scots of valued rent ; Mr Bruce and Mr Skene are, however, by far the largest 
proprietors in the parish. 

Olynthius T. Bruce, Esq. of Falkland, proprietor of Myres Castle, Reedieleys, Plains, <l*c. 

Peter G. Skene, Esq. of Halyards, proprietor of Demperston. 

Andrew Murray, Esq. of Murray "shall, proprietor of Leckiebank. 

William Johnston, Esq. of Lathrisk, proprietor of Kilwhis. 

The Dundee Union Bank, Broombrae. 

George Tod, Esq. of Southfield. 


Charles Moves, Esq. of Wester Lumbenny, proprietor of Mairsland, Broadleys, Mornipea, 8co. 

The heirs of Mr Peter Cameron, proprietors of different portions of land in the neighbourhood 
of the burgh. 

William Wilson, Esq. of Craigrothie, proprietor of Newton. 

Mr Jo! m Thomas of Lockiebank. 

William West, Cupar, proprietor of part of Millflat. 

Mr William Young of Baincraig. 

Archibald Walker, Esq. banker, Auchtermuchty, proprietor of another part of Millflat and of 

Mr William Walker of Pitlair, proprietor of Crossbill; and 

Mr Allan Gray, proprietor of Cowmeadow. 

II. The lands of Auchtermuchty proper, from which the name of the parish appears 
to have been derived, belonged originally to the earls of Fife, and formed part of the 
estate conveyed with the earldom to Robert Stuart, son of Robert II., afterwards Duke 
of Albany ; and which, at the forfeiture of his son Murdoch, Duke of Albany, in 1425, 
came with the other estates of the earldom of Fife, to the crown. Under the earls of Fife, 
and for a time under the crown, the tenants continued to possess the lands merely as ren- 
talers ; but in consequence of an act of parliament, 1504, chap. 90, by which theking 
was permitted to let the crown lands in feu farm, provided there was no diminution of the 
rental or grassum, the lands of Auchtermuchty were let in feu by James IV., who also 
appears to have intended to erect them into a royal burgh, but which was prevented 
by his death. Upon this narrative, James V., during his minority, with consent of 
the regent, John Duke of Albany, granted a charter of date 25th May, 1517, by which 
he " gave, granted, and in feu farm, heritably let all and haill his foresaid lands of 
Auchtermuchty, &c., to his tenants, inhabitants of the same, and to every one of them 
for their own part, according to his new rental of feu and assedation, &c. ; as also for 
the increase of buildings, he made, created, and infefted all and haill, &c, into a free 
burgh royal, to be called in all time coming the burgh of Auchtermuchty." He also 
willed that there should be free burgesses, and that they should have power in all ti ne 
coming, to elect bailies, &c, to have perpetually a tolbooth, market cross, a market 
on Wednesday every week, and a public fair upon St Serff 's day, to continue for eight 
days. He also granted to the burgesses free liberty of buying and selling within 
the burgh, wine, wax, cloth linen and woollen broad and narrow, and all other 
merchandise, with power to have baxters, brewers, fleshers, sellers both of flesh and 
fish, and all other trades, &c. "giving, therefore, yearly the said tenants, and everyone 
of them for their own part, and their heirs, to us and our successors, the farm victual, 
capons, poultry, and other duties used and wont to us out of the same, and according 
to the tenor of our foresaid new rental to be authentically produced by them yearly 
upon the accounts in our exchequer, paying the double of the said feu farm for one year 
at their first entry, &c." James VI., by a charter dated 25th October, 1591, renewed, 


enlarged, and confirmed, the privileges of the burgh ;* and a subsequent charter was 
granted by Charles I., of date 29th January, 1631, by which however no new or en- 
larged privilege was conferred. In consequence of these charters, Auchtermuchty has 
ever since enjoyed all the rights of a royal burgh, with the exception of that of elect- 
ing a member of Parliament, a right which it does not appear to have ever upon any 
occasion exercised.! 

The burgh is situated near the middle of the parish, where the ground first begins 
to swell towards the Ochils, and at the distance of about a mile from the Eden. A 
small burn which takes its rise partly from Lochmill in the parish of Abdie, and 
partly on the north-western corner of the parish, and which was no doubt the scene 
of a portion of the disasters which befell the " Gudeman of Auchtermuchty," flows 

* This charter of James VI. contains no reference to the previons one of James V., and is rather 
a new erection of the burgh than a confirmation of the previous erection. It constitutes "all and 
whole the town of Auchtermuchty, lying within our lordship and sheriffdom of Fife, tenements 
thereof, Sec, into one free royal burgh in all time coming, to be called the burgh of Auchtermuchty; r ' 
and it gives "to the said burgh, baillies, councillors, and free burgesses of the same and their succes- 
sors, in property and heritage, all and haile the common green, &;c. to remain as a proper common for 
the said burgh and burgesses' use."' It also gives power to the burgesses to appoint baillics, council- 
lors, 8cc. ; and to those duly admitted " to buy and sell in the burgh." Power is also granted " to 
the baillies and councillors, and their successors, to admit and receive into the burgh, bakers, brewers, 
hutchers, fishers, fishmongers, curriers, carvers, waulkers, weavers, smiths, carpenters, masons, shoe- 
makers, tailors, and all other artificers necessary and belonging to the freedom of a burgh. To 
have and hold within the burgh a town-house and market-cross, and a weekly market on Tuesday ; 
and a free annual market on the second day of July, to continue for eight days, and to uplift and 
apply the customs thereof for the common guide of the burgh, with power to the baillies to receive 
resignations and grant infeftments," &c. It also confers power to hold burgh courts, to choose officers, 
and to enact rules and statutes for the government of the burgh. Besides all which there is a gene- 
ral clause conferring every power of any royal burgh within the realm. 

t Mr Walker, the town clerk, says, in a note to me, " It is the confirmed and inveterate opinion of 
the oldest people connected with the burgh, that it once exercised the privilege of voting in the 
election of a member sent to parliament, which, along with others, it had given up in consequence of 
the expense ; but I am inclined to doubt this, having never seen any thing in corroboration of the 
fact among the oldest records." In addition to this it may be stated, that Thomas Thomson, Esq., 
advocate, in a report made by him on a remit from the court of session, says that " Auchtermuchty 
is unquestionably a burgh royal, and although under their charter, they appear never to have used 
or enjoyed the right of representation in parliament ; they possess all the ordinary privileges, juris- 
dictions, and powers, bestowed by the crown on the other burghs royal of the community." The 
fact appears to be that Auchtermuchty did not resign the right of representation, having once exer- 
cised it, but that from the poverty of the burgesses at first, they never had assumed this power, 
although certainly entitled by their charter to do so; and consequently at the union the burgh was 
not included in the list of those on whom were conferred the honour of returning a moiety of a 
member to the British parliament. Since the reform bill, those of the inhabitants who are qualified 
have the right of voting the county member. 


through the burgh toward the Eden, which it joins near Kilwhis.* The public road 
from Cupar to Kinross, and that from Kirkaldy to Newburgh, both pass through the 
burgh, crossing each other at right angles, and forming two of its streets. A third 
street, in which is the town-house, runs parallel to the Newburgh road; and besides 
these there are a great many narrow and irregular lanes intersecting and connecting 
the principal streets in different directions. The town has altogether a confused and 
irregular appearance, but it contains some well built houses, which show that it must 
have formerly possessed a greater number of wealthy inhabitants than it probably now 
does ; while the number and respectability of its drapers' and grocers' shops, gives it a 
more lively appearance than it would otherwise have, and prove that it is still the 
centre of an important district of the countrv. The view of Auchtermuchty given in 
the engraving is taken from the high ground to the north, where the Newburgh road 
descends towards the plain, and not far from Messrs Crambie's saw mill. The two 
most conspicuous buildings seen in the town are the church, which appears between the 
two trees rising on the fore-ground ; and the town-house, with its tower and spire, to 
the right of the tree nearest the point of view. The middle distance of the picture is 
occupied by a portion of the How of Fife, through which flows the river Eden ; and in 
the centre of the extreme distance is the East Lomond Hill, with the town and palace 
of Falkland indistinctly seen at its base. 

The burgh is governed by a chief magistrate, f two bailies, fourteen counsellors, and 
a town clerk. The magistrates have the same power within the burgh as other magis- 
trates of royal burghs, holding burgh courts for the decision of such questions as come 
before them, the town clerk acting as their assessor. The number of civil causes bi'oughl 
before them yearly is about 20, and the criminal prosecutions for petty riots, ike. about 15. 
The town hall is an old building, having the hall on the upper floor, and two shops on the 
ground floor. It is ornamented by a lofty tower and spire, containing a bell, which is 
certainly one of the finest toned in Fife. A small portion of the building is set apart as 
a prison, but it is very seldom used, and that merely as a lock-up house for a night. The 
burgh at one time seems to have had considerable revenues; but this is no longer the ca 
The revenue when visited by the Commissioners on royal burghs, consisted of the cus- 
toms, producing about £15 sterling yearly, and the entry mone\ of burgesses, which 
yielded about £12 ; in all £27 sterling. The burgh expenditure at this linn- was £15 13 : 
9d. sterling. The debt owing by the burgh £35 sterling. No local tax is le\ ied by the 

* This stream is called LoverspooL in Pigott's Directory, and in Chambers' ^coltish Gazetteer, but 
no such uame i- known or recognised in tli<' parish. 

•(- In the charter by Charles I., the chief magistrate is called " Richard .Maxwell, Provost of Auch- 
termuchty." This was no doubt ;•. mistake, but had advantage been taken of it at the time, their - 
no doubt that the chief magistrate of Auchtermuchty would have .-till had a right to the title of 


magistrates, with the exception of the customs. There is no guildry, neither are there any 
incorporated trades within the burgh. There is a weekly market held on Monday for the 
sale of corn, and other farm produce, which is regularly attended by the farmers and deal- 
ers of the surrounding district. There are also three public fairs or markets held during 
the year. The principal one, which is held on the 13th of July, was formerly a 
great fair, but it has now, as in many neighbouring places, fallen off in a con- 
siderable degree. Auchtermuchty being nearly the centre of a sub-district of the 
county, different courts and public meetings are held in it at stated periods. The She- 
riff small debt circuit court is held here four times a year ; and the justice of peace 
small debt court is held on the first Monday of every month. The Justices also 
sit occasionally for the trial of petty crimes and offences brought before them by 
their own procurator fiscal. Meetings are here held by the Trustees who manage 
the roads on the district ; and it is one of the polling stations for the election of the 
member of parliament for the county. Auchtermuchty is also the place of collection 
of various government revenues : viz. the excise, which is collected every six weeks ; 
the assessed and other taxes, which although payable in Cupar, are collected here annually 
for the convenience of the district ; feu duties payable to the crown from lands in the 
district ; feu duties payable to the governor of Edinburgh castle, commonly called castle 
rent ; and feu duties payable to the crown, but set apart for the support of the governor 
of that castle, all which are collected annually. The statute labour money for the 
district is also collected here annually. There is likewise a sub-distributor of stamps 
in the burgh. Auchtermuchty is a post town, having two arrivals and two departures 
every day. A stage coach, which runs between Kirkaldy and Perth, passes through the 
burgh, going and returning every morning and evening ; and there are regular car- 
riers between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kirkaldy, Cupar, and Dundee, several times each 

A branch of the Glasgow Union Banking Company has been established here for 
some years, under the management of Archibald Walker, Esq. Previously a branch 
of the Perth bank had existed for a number of vears. There is also a Savings bank, 
which was established in 1S21, which has been managed with prudence and success, 
and has been of great advantage to the working classes in this and the neighbouring 
parishes. The sum deposited at 31st December 1837, was £2500 ; the number of de- 
positors being 431. At the same period in 1S3S, the amount deposited had increased 
£200 ; and the depositors had also increased in proportion. The Auchtermuchty 
Savings bank has not become connected with the National Security Savings bank, 
but is still managed according to its original constitution by a Governor, Deputy 
Governor, a body of Directors, a Secretary and a Treasurer, who are elected by the 
depositors of £2 and upwards, and who meet quarterly for business. The bank receives 
any sum from Is. to £9 19s.; but when the deposits of any individual accumulate to 
£10, his account is transferred to the bank, or the money paid up to him. In con- 


sequence probably of the success of the Savings bank, the benefit societies here are 
but of little importance. The weavers' society has either been dissolved by the remaining 
members, or is at a very low ebb. There are three mason lodges, the Saint Serffs, the 
King Robert de Bruce, and the Sir William Wallace, which at one time had be- 
nefit societies connected with them, but the funds have either fallen low or are alto- 
gether exhausted. The Chapman society winch has its seat and place of meeting here 
is very wealthy, but it is rather to be looked on as a general society belonging to 
the county, than a local benefit society. The members are now few, and as chapmen 
have now altogether disappeared, few or no new entrants are made. A joint stock 
company has been formed for the purpose of lighting the town and suburbs with 
gas. The works are now nearly completed, and in a very short time they will be 
enabled to supply the public with this light. 

Besides the burgh and its suburbs, there is a large village called Dunshelf, situ- 
ated at the south-eastern extremity of the parish, on the banks of the Eden. It is 
built on feus from Mr Bruce of Falkland, and is mostlv inhabited by weavers. 

III. Immediately south of the burgh, and between it, and the Eden is the castle and 
lands of Myres, the property of O. T. Bruce, Esq. of Falkland. The castle is a fine 
old building still habitable, and the lands, although they may at one time have de- 
served the appellation they have received, are now well drained, and rich, and fertile. 
Ancientl) the Myres, called the Myres of Auchtermuchty, belonged to the Earls of 
Fife, and came to the crown at the forfeiture of the earldom. In March 1483-4, John 
Scrimgeour had a charter to himself and his heirs male, of the office of macer and 
sergeant at arms, together with the lands of the Myres of Auchtermuchty. * He is 
supposed to have been the second son of Sir James Scrimgeour, constable of Dundee, 
who was killed at the battle of Hairlaw, in 1411; and was the great grandson of 
Alexander Scrimgeour, one of the associates of Sir William Wallace in his brave 
attempt to restore the liberties of Scotland. Wallace during the time he was governor 
of Scotland, conferred in 1298, upon his friend and his heirs, the constabulary of 
Dundee, for his faithful aid in bearing the royal banner of Scotland ; and his son 
Nicholas Skyrmeshour, obtained from king Robert Bruce, a charter of the office of 
hereditary standard bearer, with some lands within the barony of Inverkeithing.l 

* Mag. Sig. L. xi. Xo. 65. 
t The relationship between the family of Scrimgeour of Dndliope, Constables of Dundee, and here- 
ditary standard-bearers for Scotland, and the family of the Myres, is repeatedly evidenced by 
charters. In 1527, James Scrimgeour of Dudhope had a charter (Mag. Sig. L. xxi. Xo. 19.) to him- 
self and the heirs male of his body, which failing, to John Scrimgeour of Glaster, James and Walter, 
brothers of John, David Scrimgeour of Fardel, John Scrimgeour, \taa r, ike, of the barony of Dud- 
hope, office of Constable of Dundee, of the lands of Hadfield, &c, in the barony of Inverkeitliing, 
and of other lands ; and again, in loll, he had another charter, (ibid. I-. xxviii. No. 258.) of the same 
office and lands in favour of himself and substitutes, among whom is John Scrimgeour of Myres. In 


In February, 1530-1, John Scrimgeour, master of the king's works, son of John Scrim- 
geour, macer, had a charter to him and his heirs male, of the office of macer, sergeant 
at arms, and of the lands of Myres ; and he had another charter of the same office 
and lands in January, 1541-2.* "These lands were afterwards purchased," says 
Sibbald,f " by major-general Leslie, and are now by marriage the heritage of the 
MoncriefTs of Reedie. In consequence of their acquiring the lands of Myres, the 
Moncrieffs of Reedie also succeeded to the hereditary office of macer of the court of 
session, and for a considerable time had the right of appointing one of the four macers 
of that court. This right having been found exceedingly inconvenient, was at length 
purchased by the crown, and the appointment of this macer has since been under the 
same patronage with the others. The present Mr Skene of Halyairds, whose name 
previous to his succeeding to the entailed estates of Skene of Halyairds, was Moncrieff, 
sold his estate of the Myres, to the late Mr Bruce of Falkland. 

West of the Myres, are the lands of Reedie and Reedielays, long the patrimonial 
estate of the family of Moncrieff, of whom Mr Skene is the representative. A part of 
Reedie still belongs to him ; but the remainder with Reedielays, is now the property 
of O. T. Bruce, Esq. West of the burgh of Auchtermuchty, and to the north of the 
road to Kinross, is Demperston, anciently belonging to a family of the name of Dempster 
or Demperston. In June 1466, Henry Demperston, of Demperston, was one of an 
assize of perambulation for clearing of marches, mentioned by Sibbald.j It seems 
probable that these lands were part of the estate of the Earls of Fife, and were held 
under them by the hereditary Dempster or Doomster of their court of regality, from 
which they came to be called Dempsterton or Demperston, which again was subsequently 
assumed as the family name. These lands are now the property of Mr Skene. North 
of this is Leckiebank, the property of Andrew Murray, Esq. ; north of which is New- 
ton, the property of William Wilson, Esq. ; and farther north still, is Mairsland, the 
property of Charles Moves, Esq. 

Immediately to the north-west of the burgh, is Mornipea, the property of Mr Moves. 
In the seventeenth century, it belonged to a family of the name of Moncrieff, a branch 
most probably of the family of Moncrieff of Reedie: of the marriage of a daughter of 
this family, Lamont has the following notice, " 1668, Feb. 14. — Robert Lundin, in 
Bacormo-mill, in the parish of Largo, married An Moncriefe, Mowrney-pys dawghter ; 
the marriage feast stood in hir father's bowse, nire Achtermouchty. Jul. 8, 1670, he 

1565, Sir Jnmes Scrimgeour of Dudhope, had a charter (ibid. L. xxxii. No. 408.) of the same office 
and lands to himself and substitutes, among whom John Scrimgeour of Myres is one ; and in another 
charter, dated 1 -").S7, John Scri?ngeour of Myres is one of the substitutes. The Scrimgeours of Myres, 
besides being hereditary macers, and sergeants at arms of the palace of Falkland, appear to have been 
master builders to the king. 

* Mag. Sig. L. xxiv. No. 42, L. xxviii. No. 212. | Hist, of Fife, p. 389. J Ibid. p. 210. 


depairted owt of this life att Bacormo mill, and was interred att Largo K. the 9 of Jul. 
in the afternoon : he died of a consumption."* North-east of Auchtermuchty, is 
Broombrae, the property of the Dundee Union Banking Company ; and to the south- 
east is Plains, the property of Mr Bruce. At the south-eastern extremity of the parish 
on the opposite side of the Eden from Raecruik, is Kilwhis, the property of Mr Johnston 
of Lathrisk. 

IV. The parish church of Auchtermuchty was mortified in 1350, by Duncan, the 
last Earl of Fife, of the race of Macduff, " Beate Marie et St Andree mirifica operan- 
tibus apud Lindores." The present church stands on a rising ground within the 
burgh. It is a plain structure, erected in 17S0, with an aisle latelj erectedat the back ; 
and is from its situation very convenient for the greater portion of the inhabitants of 
the parish. It is seated to contain about 900 ; and the average attendance is generally 
from 700 to 800. The number of communicants averages about 600. The stipend is 
272 bolls, half meal, half barley, and £10 sterling in money. The manse which was 
built about 1792, is in good condition, and the glebe consists of five acres. The present 
incumbent is the Rev. Robert Johnston, A. M. ; and the patron, O. T. Bruce, Esq. of 
Falkland.! The parish school is situated within the burgh. The teacher, besides a 

* Diary, p. 20 1. 

I Mr John Glas, at one time minister of the parish of Tealing in Forfarshire, and v. ho originated 
the first dissent, with the exception of the Cameronians, from the church of Scotland, was born in 
this parish on t lie fifth of October, 1691. His father, the ltev. Alexander Glas, was settled minister 
of this parish in 1691, and was translated to Kinclaven in 1700. His grandfather and great-grand- 
father had been successively ministers of Little Dunkeld ; and his great-great-grandfather, Mr William 
Glas, who was descended from the family of Glas of Sauchie in Stirlingshire, was the first presbyterian 
minister of Dunkeld about the period of the reformation. Mr John Glas received the rudiments ot* his 
education at Kinclaven, and afterwards went to the grammar school of Perth, where he made great. 
proficiency in the knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages. He afterwards studied for the mi- 
nistry at St Andrews and Edinburgh, where he concluded his academical studies in philosophy and 
theology. After sustaining with great reputation the preliminary course of trials prescribed by the 
church of Scotland to candidates for the ministry, he was licensed, and in 1719, ordained minister of 
Tealing. Air Glas' fame as a preacher soon spread abroad ; and many were in the habil of coming 
even from distant parishes when lie preached on sacramental occasion-;. Mr Glas' dispute with the 
church of Scotland arose at fust out of his objections to the national covenants, then an object of 
great attention with the popular clergy and their followers; but in (lie course of his study of the 
scriptures many other views were opened up to him, in which lie found it necessary to differ 
from the national church. In 1727 he was summoned before the Presbytery, and afterwards before 
the Synod of Angus and Mearns, and he was deposed from the ministry in October I 72x Upon (his 
lie removed to Dundee with his family, where tlio few who adhered to his views were formed into a 
Congregational church, which L-till exists there; they being popularly known by the name of Glasites. 
Through the preaching of Mr Glas, of Mr Robert, Sandeman, and others, their connexions were ex- 
tended, and Congregational churches were formed in various towns throughout Sc tland and England, 
VOL. II. 2 E 


good school-room, dwelling house, and garden, has the maximum salary. The average 
number of pupils attending it, is about 60. There are two other subscription schools 
in the town ; at one of which the pupils average about 80, or 100 ; and at the other, 
about the same as at the parish school. There are also two female schools in the 

and a few in America. This body of christians, known in England by the name of Sandemanians, 
have subsequently made bat little progress in making converts ; and are hardly now so numerous as 
they were even twenty years ago. Mr Glas died in November, 1 773. He was a man of great 
strength and vigour of mind ; and his acquired knowledge was of the highest order. His works were 
published at Perth in five volumes in 17s:.', and very clearly show (he great extent of his biblical and 
theological learning. 

One of Mr Glas' sons, George Glas, was bred to the sea, and served for several years as a mid- 
shipman in the navy, rising afterwards to the rank of lieutenant; and he subsequently sailed as 
master of a vessel from Dundee. In the course of some voyages to the coast of Africa, he made very 
important discoveries in that country, then but little known to Europeans. He discovered a river 
then unknown in our charts, between Cape Verd and Senegal, navigable so far inland as to facilitate 
the conveyance of goods over a vast extent of country. He also learned the Arabic language spoken 
by the inhabitants, and thus was enabled to obtain much information, particularly as to trading with 
the interior for gold dust and ivory. Upon his return to London he laid a plan which he had formed 
before his employers, and the whole was explained to the ministry. Application was made to the com- 
missioners for trade and plantations tor an exclusive grant of the port he had discovered, with a district 
of land adjoining thereto, for the term of thirty years; in consideration of which he engaged to get the 
port and district ceded to the British crown. This proposal was not agreed to ; but an arrangement was- 
entcred info, that if he obtained a voluntary cession from the natives of the territory, to his majesty, 
he should be entitled to the sum of £15,000. In consequence of this he entered into partnership with 
a respectable house in London, and a large vessel was fitted out, having a very valuable cargo on 
board. In less than two months he was ready for sea, and having received his orders from the privy 
council, he, accompanied by his wife and daughter, sailed from Gravesend in the month of August, 
1764. On his arrival off the coast of Africa, he sailed info the port he had previously discovered, 
-which he now named Hillsborough ; and he, without any difficulty, obtained from the natives a treaty 
ceding the port and territory to the crown of Great Britain. The treaty, written in Arabic, having been 
signed and sworn to by the chieftains and leading men of the district. A famine at this time prevail- 
ing on the African coast, captain Glas, at the solicitation of the natives, as well as for the support 
of his intended colony, resolved to go to Teneriffe, to buy some small vessels and load them with corn 
for port Hillsborough; and in November, 1764, he set sail in the long boat with five men for the 
nearest of the Canary islands, intending to send back the long boat and take passage in a Spanish 
bark to Teneriffe. They arrived at the island of Lancerotta in twenty-four hours, from whence the 
treaty containing the ceding of port Hillsborough was sent to London by an English ship. 

The commercial jealousy of the Spanish government had been alarmed by the reports of captain 
Glas' new settlement, and their ambassador, at the British court, had described him minutely in his 
person, as the chief promoter of this plan. Orders were accordingly sent to the governor of the 
Canary islands to seize and confine him if he touched there, where he was well known. Immediately, 
therefore, upon his arrival at Lancerotta, he was seized and sent prisoner to Teneriffe, where he and 
his man servant were closely confined to the castle, and denied the use of pen, ink, and paper. This 


town ; and there is a school for both sexes at Dunshelt, under the patronage and support 
of Mr Bruce. The number of poor on the regular roll, averages about 45; and the 
total amount, expended on them annually, is about £200 sterling. The sources from 
which this is derived, is the collection at the church door, a proportion of the fees of pro- 
was to him certainly a heavy misfortune, considering the situation in which he had left his wife and 
daughter, and the hazards to which his ship and intended colony might be exposed from the natives. 
After some time he and his fellow prisoner found means to get out of prison ; but while they lay hid 
in the castle, waiting the relieving of the guards, in order to have an opportunity of scaling the 
■walls, they were discovered, and confined in a dungeon, where they were treated willi great harsh- 
ness. In this place they were kept for thirteen days, but captain Glas being exceedingly ill, and 
much reduced from ague, they were at length removed to their old apartment. Notwithstan ling the 
vigilance used to prevent him having the use of pens and ink, captain Glas, by writing on a smooth 
crust of bread, found means to make his situation known to the Dutch consul; but being again 
detected, he was for this offence put in irons, and told that he should remain in them until he told 
whom he had employed to carry his message to the consul. The Spaniards finding him inflexibly 
silent on the point, at the end of eighteen days took off his irons; ami thenceforth used him with 
more lenity. 

Mis Glas and their daughter were all this time in a state of painful anxiety regarding captain 
Glas, while the inexperience of the master of the vessel and the other officers, and the arts of (lie Moors, 
gave the. whole of those he left behind him reason to regret his absence. The master had continued 
trading with the natives, and mailers went on very successfully till .March, L765, when the long boat 
and part of the crew being ashore obtaining wafer, a number of Arabs came on board on pretence of 
trading. The master had by this lime become too secure, and had used no precautions to prevent a 
sudden assault. This the Moors perceived, and when the crew were ordered to dinner, they, on a 
signal being given, fell upon them, and killed the master anil six Others, wounding many more. The 
Arabs were ultimately repulsed with loss; but from the death of their leader, and the incapacity of 
the surviving officers to command the crew, or navigate the vessel, (he majority of those on board 
prevailed on the rest to abandon the ship, anil go over in the boats to the island of Grand Canary. 
This they accordingly did, taking Mrs Glas and her daughter with them. From Grand Canary 
they proceeded to Teneriffe, where Mrs Glas learned the fate of her husband. For some lime the 
Spaniards had treated captain Glas with much le^s rigour,- and on the arrival of his wife, she was 
freely admitted to see him in prison, and the servant, who had been confined along with him for live 
months was set at liberty. About a month afterwards the use of pen, ink, and paper, was allowed 
him, but. he was ^-1 ill closely confined. In October, 1765, after an imprisonment of nearly eleven 
months, in consequence of the most peremptory demands of the British ambassador, at the court of 
Madrid, he was -el al liberty. 

lie now embarked with hi-, family in the Sandwich, captain Cockeran, for London; and on beard 
of this ill fated vessel, the series of misfortunes which had followed one another to captain Glas and 
his family were destined to terminate. Although an English ship, and having an English master and 
officers, she was chiefly manned by Spaniards, Portuguese, and frenchmen ; and unfortunately (here 
■was a very large quantity of money on board. The foreign portion of the crew being aw. ire of Ihi 
circumstance, entered into a conspiracy to lake possession of the ship, and thus secure the treasure. 
They accordingly, during a night watch held by the mate, attacked an 1 mind' red him and the part of 



clamation of banns, and a voluntary assessment agreed to by tbe landward heritors. 
The average annual amount of the collections at the church door, is about £30 sterling. 
About £20 sterling is annually expended by the session on occasional charities, to 
persons not on the regular roll. 

There are four dissenting congregations in the parish. 1st, A chapel which was 
erected in 1750, connected with the United Associate Synod, the Rev. John Taylor, 

the crew who were not in the plot. The captain of the ship rushing on deck was also murdered, 
■with others of the crew who also came on deck on hearing the noise. Captain Glas, who was a man 
of the most determined bravery and presence of mind, seems to have been peculiarly dreaded by t ho 
ruffians; and one of their number was therefore concealed below, for the purpose of attacking captain 
Glas. He, upon hearing the uproar hastily snatched a sword, and rushed up the companion stair 
towards the deck; but the villain who was concealed, coming behind him, immediately ran him 
through and killed him. Mrs Glas and her young daughter alone now remained to be disposed off, 
and the villains came to the resolution of throwing them overboard. Clasped in each others' arms, 
the unfortunate mother and daughter begged for mercy ; but they were seized up together and thrown 
overboard by the wretches who had thus possessed themselves of the vessel. Having put the money 
into the boats, the murderers scuttled the vessel and left her; and landing on the coast of Ireland, 
buried the money in the sand. Fortunately the vessel did not sink, as had been expected, but drifted 
ashore on the same coast, not far from where the crew had landed; and she bore too fatal testi- 
mony to the dreadful scene which had been enacted on board. On a search being made, the murder- 
ers were discovered carousing and drinking in a public house. They were instantly seized, and on 
being examined confessed the horrid crimes which they had committed. One of them expressed his 
happiness that they had been apprehended, for he said that the appearance of Mrs Glas and her 
daughter, at the moment they were thrown overboard, was ever before him, and that their shrieks 
ever sounded in his ears. 

Mr Glas was at this time living at Perth, and was eagerly anticipating from day to day to hear 
of the arrival of his son, the last survivor of several who had attained to manhood, and of his family. 
Mr Thomas Sandeman who was in the habit of bringing him the newspaper, read with horror the 
paragraph in which the dreadful occurrence was detailed; and felt at the utmost loss how to com- 
municate it to the bereaved father. Yet it required to be done. He laid the paper before the old 
man in solemn silence, and pointed to the paragraph. Mr Glas read it, and remained for some time 
silent. "Perhaps," said Mr Sandeman, " it may not be true." " It is too circumstantially told," 
said Mr Glas, " not to be true ;" and after a pause he added, " It is the Lord, his will be done." 
He removed to his closet for a short time, and a few hours afterwards joined with his congregation at 
their ordinary worship, with a tranquillity which astonished all. Some weeks afterwards, when accounts 
arrived from Ireland of the trial and execution of the murderers, his only observation was, "that it 
would be a glorious instance of divine mercy and sovereign goodness, if George Glas and his mur- 
derers shall meet together in heaven." — Captain Glas was the author of a " History of the Canary 
Islands/' published in London in 176!, a work hold in considerable estimation; and he had prepared 
a history and description of that part of Africa, which is bounded on the west by the Atlantic ocean, 
on the east by Nubia and Abyssinia, on the north by Morrceo, Algiers, &c, and on the south by the 
Senegal, witli an account of the different tribes inhabiting the district. This work however was lost 
with himself. 


M. D., minister. The congregation belonging to which, including their families, 
amounts to about 740 persons. The average number of persons on the communion 
roll is about 400; and the average attendance is much about the same. 2d, Another 
chapel in connection with the Associate Synod, the Rev. James Forsyth, minister. The 
number of communicants is about 350; and the average attendance about the same. 
The number of families connected with this congregation is about 1 10. 3d, A ch: | el 
connected with the Relief Synod, the Rev. James Bonnar, minister. The number of 
communicants in this congregation is 400; and the average attendance about 370. 
The number of families about 120. 4th, A congregation of Baptists, which is but 
small, consisting for the greater part of a few families related together. 

V. In the year 175"), the population of the parish was 1308; and in 17!»2, it was 
1439. In 1801, it was 2060; in 1811, 2403; in 1821, 2754; in 1831, 3225; and it 
is certain that since that period it has considerably increased. The following is the 
government analysis of the return in 1831. 


Males, 20 years of age, 828; total males, 1532; females, L693; total population, 3225. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 88; ditto in trade, manufactures, and handicraft, 504; 
all other families not comprised in these two classes, 142; total number of families, 73 [ . 

Persons occupying land employing labourers, 9; ditto not employing labourers, 38; labourers 
employed in agriculture, 8"). 

Persons employed in manufactures, t02; ditto employed in retail trade or handicraft, as master 
or workmen, 2 Mi. 

Capitalists, bankers, professional, and other educated men, 28. 

Labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 8; all oilier males above 2 years of age (except 
servants) 10. 

Male servants above 20 years of age, 2; ditto under 20 years of age, _; female servants, 

Inhabited houses, 670; building, 1; uninhabited, 17. 

The population of the burgh and suburbs, according to the return made to the 
liamentary commissioners on Scottish burghs, was then 2400. The number of persons 
resident within the proper bounds of the burgh, whose yearly rents, as landlor 
tenants, amounted to £10 sterling and upwards, was 76, of whom 5!) wei 
The number amounting to £5, but under £10, was 72, of whom 2 1 were bu 
In the suburbs there were 24 persons, whose rents amounted to £10 and upwards; 
and 50 whose rents were £5, but under €10. 

VI. The soil of this parish is varied but all fertile, bearing excellent crops; and is all 
under a high state of cultivation. Around the town the soil is rather light, loose, and 
black; and towards the south and south-east, it is a mixture of black clay, loam, and 
mellow earth, probably inferior to no part of Scotland in fertility. The whole pari li is 
well drained; and the sheep husbandry has been introduced by all the larger farm 
A considerable portion of the lands around the town are let in small hits to persons 


residing in the town ; but there are several large farms let to wealthy and enterpris- 
ing tenants. The farm steadings, the duration of leases, the system of husbandry 
pursued, and the stock reared, are all the same as has been already described in 
other parishes. The average rent of land is about £3; varying from £1:5 to £6 
sterling. The valued rent of the parish is £5783 : 9 : 11 Scots. The annual value 
of the real property as assessed for the property tax in 1815, was £6,930 sterling. 
There are ten threshing mills in the parish, one of which is driven by water. An 
agricultural society has existed for some time, the object of which is the promotion 
of agriculture in general, but in particular the improvement of stock and grain. Ori- 
ginally no premiums were given, but a competition by sweepstakes took place among 
any of the members who chose, at the annual meeting, which was held on the first 
Monday of October. The purposes of the society have now been extended however, 
and an annual exhibition of live stock is to take place in the month of March, when 
premiums will be awarded to the successful competitors. Next year, 1S40, the society 
is to be taken under the patronage of the Highland society, which will thereafter 
grant an annual sum from its funds, to be given in premiums at the meetings of this 

VII. Weaving of linen and cotton cloth and woollen shawls is the chief employment of 
the greater portion of the working population of this parish, there being 1030 looms 
engaged in one or other of these branches, of which 800 are within the burgh. The 
greater part of these, however, are engaged in weaving linen for the manufacturers of 
Newburgh and Dunfermline; and a few in weaving cotton cloth for the Glasgow 
manufacturers. Notwithstanding the number of persons employed in weaving linen 
in this parish, there are only 4 persons residing in it who have capital embarked in 
the trade, or who manufacture goods on their own account. They employ about 200 
looms, and manufacture linen goods to the value of about £20,000 sterling, annually. 
These goods are chiefly dreels, dowlas, diapers, window-blinds, and selisias for the 
London, Glasgow, and Manchester markets. Auchterrauchty at one time had many 
persons with capital engaged in the linen manufacture ; and the town was one of the 
principal seats of that branch of industry in Fife. From whatever cause, however, it 
may have arisen, the linen manufacture has not increased here as it has done in other 
parts of Fife ; indeed it rather appears to have in some branches fallen off. Previous 
to 1700, and down to 1750, the inhabitants of this and the neighbouring parishes car- 
ried on a valuable trade of manufacturing, what was called burn bleached linens; and 
Auchterinuchty was regularly visited by merchants from Glasgow and other places, 
who purchased these goods. From 1750 to 1S00, there was a considerable trade in 
what was called 4-4th brown linens, which were disposed of in the London and Leeds 
markets, but this is now nearly extinct. From about 1780, up to 1820, a great deal 
was done in 3-4th linens, called Silesias, which were partly sold to the Glasgow mar- 
ket, but the greater part to the bleachers in the neighbourhood of Perth, where they 


were bleached and finished, and shipped under the name of Britannias to the West 
Indies and South America. This trade is also now nearly extinct here. Burins 
the progress of these branches of the linen trade in this town, a great part of the 
goods woven throughout Fife and Kinross, passed through the hands of the mer- 
chants in Auchtermuchtv, who also dealt extensively in the Foreign and Irish yarn 

" From the books of the stamp-master of Auchtermuchtv," says the Rev. Mr Lister, 
"it appears that from 1st November, 1790, to 1st November, 1791, he stamped 

239,244^ yards of 35 inch wide brown linens, valued at 9R ^ yard, £ 9470 : 1 : 8^ 

260,093 yards of 30 ami 27 inch wide br iwn Silesia linens, valued 8d. f> yard, 8669 : 15 : 10 
2,212f yards of white linen, at 8d. - - 73:15: 2 

ei8,213 : 12 : s\ 

" Great part of the above," adds Mr Lister, " must be manufactured in the town and 
immediate neighbourhood, as there are stamp offices in Falkland and Newburgh, which 
are within two or three miles of Auchtermuchty." As already stated, however, the 
merchants of Auchtermuchty purchased extensively linens manufactured elsewhere ; 
and Mr Lister says that, "£50,000 sterling is annually expended by the green linen 
merchants in this town on that article." The spirit of enterprise which Mr Lister 
speaks of as actuating the manufacturers and merchants of Auchtermuchty, has unfor- 
tunately disappeared, while it has increased elsewhere ; and the weavers here are now, 
as we have stated, chiefly employed by the capital and enterprise of other places. 

Besides the linen manufacture there are various other branches of industry carried 
on to a considerable extent in the town and parish. Malting is carried on upon an 
extensive scale by Mr J. Bonthron. He makes about 20,000 quarters of malt annually. 
There is a distillery at which good malt whisky is made for the home market ; and a 
brewery at which good small and table beer is made. There is a corn and flour mill, 
belonging to Mr J. Bonthron, driven by the stream which flows through the town ; on the 
same stream a flour mill, belonging to Mr Skede, engineer, Dunbar; and a corn mill 
called Cash Mill, driven by the river Eden, near the south-west extremity of the parish. 
Immediately north of the town, and on the small stream already mentioned, there is a 
saw mill; and on the same stream a bleachfield for cloth and yarn, belonging to Mi- 
Thomas Adamson. This is the only bleachfield in Fife where cloth is bleached. In 
connection with it there are two water wheels employed in driving the machinery 
required in the process of bleaching. Mr Adamson upon an average bleaches and 
finishes about 110 pieces, or 10,000 yards of linen cloth per month, a considerable part 
of which is what is called customer cloth : he also bleaches about 18,000 spyndles, or 

* Statistical Account, vol. VI. p. ■' 44. 


16 tons of linen yarn per month. Altogether the water power used in the parish, may 
be equal to about 60 horse power ; and there is a steam engine of 8 horse power, by 
which Mr Skedes' mill is driven when the water is low. There are seven smiths in 
the parish, one of whom, within the burgh, has long been famous for the excellence of 
the beams and scales which he makes, and which are in consequence known throughout 
the greater part of the county. There are also three haberdashers, one bookseller, ten 
grocers, and four butchers. There are two good inns, besides a great number of public 

VIII. There are few or no antiquities in this parish worthy of notice. Near the 
village of Dunshelt, however, there is an ancient circular fort, which is obviously 
of British origin. In the neighbourhood, however, it is, as usual, supposed to have 
been constructed by the Danes, who having made an incursion into the country, were 
defeated on Falkland muir, fled, and constructed this fort to protect themselves. This 
it is said is the origin of the name which should be Daneshalt, the place where the 
Danes halted. It is much more probable, however, that the first syllable of this name 
s the Celtic Dun, a fort; and that the work was constructed by the Celtic people of 
the country as a defence against invaders. In the upper part of the burgh there is an 
old house, in which it is popularly believed the great Macduff, Maormor of Fife, 
resided; but the house though ancient, has obviously been built at a period of some 
hundreds of years after the death of that great warrior. It, in all probability, belonged 
to the familv, and may have been inhabited by some of his ancestors. The only other 
object of antiquarian interest in the parish, is the old castle of the Myres, which we 
have already mentioned as th? residence of a family of the name of Scrvmgeour. 



I. Tins parish lies immediately south of Auchtermuchty, from which, as already men- 
tioned, it is separated by the river Eden, and a narrow strip of the parish of Strathmi- 
glo, which stretches along the southern margin of the stream, till it joins the parish of 
Kettle. The form of the parish is that of an irregular parallelogram, about five miles 
in length from east to west, and about two miles and a quarter in breadth from north 
to south at its two extremities ; but about three and a half miles in breadth at the centre. 
It is bounded by the parishes of Portmoak, Leslie, and Markinch on the south ; by 
those of Markinch and Kettle on the east ; by Kettle and Strathmiglo on the north ; and 
by the parish of Strathmiglo on the west. The surface of the parish is beautifully di- 
versified ; and in many places finely ornamented with wood. At the north, near the 
Eden, there is a considerable tract of level ground, which ascends as we proceed south, 
until it rises into the east Lomond hill, and the high ridge which connects it with the 
Avest Lomond ; and on the south of this range it descends until it joins the parish of 
Leslie ; but the lowest elevation of the southern part of the parish is considerably above 
that of the northern portion near the Eden. In the general landscape of this portion 
of the county, the range of the Lomonds, with the two lofty peaks which form their 
eastern and western terminations, are beautiful and interesting features ; and the dif- 
ferent views from their summits are extensive and finely diversified. The height of 
the east Lomond hill in this parish, as ascertained by the Trigonometrical survey made 
under the direction of the board of Ordnance, is 1466 feet above the level of the sea, 
and 255 feet lower than the summit of the west Lomond in the parish of Stathmiglo. 
The parish is well provided with roads, there being six miles, 1330 yards of turnpike 
roads, and nine miles, 196 yards of statute labour roads within it. 

Anciently the name of this parish was Kilgour; arising either from the name of the 
lands of Kilgour, about a mile from the burgh of Falkland, where the church originally 
stood, or from the name given to the church and now preserved by these lands. The 
origin of the word Kilgour is not very obvious, but Kil-our in the celtic means the yel- 
low church. The name of the parish seems to have been changed about the time that 
the church was transferred from its old site to its present, within the burgh of Falk- 

II. The town of Falkland stands at the north-east base of the cast Lomond hill, 
and contains one principal street, and some other smaller stn ets and lane-. Its ap- 
pearance, taken in connexion with the palace and the church, is, notwithstanding some 
modern buildings, very antique, and its situation pleasant and agreeable. The town 

VOL. II. 2 F 


was originally a burgh of barony belonging to the earls of Fife ; but it was erected into 
a royal burgh in 1458, during the reign of James II. The preamble to the charter of 
erection states as the reasons for granting it, the frequent residence of the royal family 
at the manor of Falkland, and the damage and inconvenience sustained by the many 
prelates, peei-s, barons, nobles, and others of their subject?, who came to their country- 
seat, for want of innkeepers and victuallers. This charter was renewed by James VI. 
in the year 1595. Among the privileges which these charters conferred, was the right 
of holding a weekly market, and of having four fairs or public markets annually. To 
the public markets two others were subsequently added, one called the Lintseed mar- 
ket, held in Spring, and the other the Harvest market, held in Autumn. There are 
now seven public markets held throughout the year; these occur in the months of 
January, February, April, June, August, September, and November, and are generally 
well attended. Like the neighbouring burgh of Auchtermuchty, although certainly 
entitled originally to have done so, Falkland does not appear at any time to have exer- 
cised its right of electing a member to the Scottish parliament ; consequently its privi- 
leges were overlooked at the time of the union ; but since the passing of the reform 
bill, its inhabitants having the necessary qualification, are entitled to a vote in the elec- 
tion of a member for the county. In all other respects, however, this burgh enjoys 
the whole privileges of a royal burgh. 

Falkland is governed by a town council, consisting of three magistrates, fifteen 
councillors, a treasurer, and a town clerk, who acts when necessary as assessor to the 
magistrates. The revenue of the burgh amounts on an average of three years, to about 
£60 yearly. The magistrates, besides managing with the council the civil affairs of 
the burgh, hold courts from time to time for the decision of questions arising out of 
civil contracts, and petty delects. The town-house, which is ornamented with a spire, 
was erected in 1802; and contains a hall in whudi the burgh courts, and the meetings 
of the town council are held, and two rooms for a prison, which,.however, are but sel- 
dom used, except for the temporary purpose of a lock-up-house. No town probably in 
Scotland is better supplied with spring water, the most pure and delicious, than Falk- 
land. This was effected in 1781, by bringing water from the neighbouring Lomonds 
by means of pipes, and which is distributed by wells situated in different parts of the 
burgh. This useful public work cost about £400 sterling, and was executed at the 
expense of the incorporation. There is no guildry, neither are there any incorporated 
trades within the burgh. There is one lodge of Free Masons in the town, the St John's 
of Falkland, in connection with which a benefit society has recently been formed. There 
are two good inns in the town, several houses for the sale of spirituous liquors, and a 
few shops for the sale of cloths and grocery goods. Although now little better than a 
country village, Falkland must formerly have been a place of great resort, and of con- 
siderable importance. The frequent residence of the royal family at the palace during 
me reigns of the three last James's, brought the nobility and the wealthier of the lesser 


barons often to the town, and many of them had residences within it, or in its immedi- 
ate neighbourhood. A natural consequence of this was, it may easily be supposed, the 
superior refinement of the inhabitants; and " Falkland bred," had become an ada^e. 
The superiority, however, of Falkland breeding is, like the former grandeur of the town 
and palace, now alas ! among the things that were. 

At the distance of about a mile to the east of the burgh, is the village of Xewton of 
Falkland, and about another mile farther east is the village of Freuchie ; both being 
built on feus from William Johnston, Esq., of Lathrisk. In July, 1566, Queen Mary 
granted " to Margaret Houseton, and her son, Thomas Beveridge, for their lives, two 
chalders and four bolls of bear from the Newtown of Falkland, for her good service to 
the Queen at the birth of the prince of this realm." 

III. The lands of Falkland, including what now constitutes the burgh, belonged 
originally to the crown; and v, ained from Malcolm IV. by Duncan, carl of Fife, 

the fifth in descent from Macduff, upon the occasion of his marriage with Ada, the 
niece of the king.* In the charter conferring them, which is dated in the seventh year 
of his reign (1160), the name of the lands is spelled " 1- ." The lands of Falk- 

land continued, with the title and other estates, with the descendants of Duncan, until 
1371, when Isobel, countess of Fife, the last of the ancient race, conveyed the earldom 
and estates to Robert Stewart, carl of Monteith, second son of Robert II., who thus be- 
came sixteenth carl of Fife, was afterwards created duke of Albany, and became 
regent of the kingdom. On the forfeiture of his son, Murdoch, duke of Albany, the 
lands of Falkland reverted to the crown ; and the town was shortly afterwards erected 
into a royal burgh. The court of the stewartry of Fife, which comprehended only the 
estates of the earldom, was also removed from the county town of Cupar to Falk- 
land, where they were afterwards held as long as the office of Stewart existed. In 1601, 
Sir David Murray of Gospetrie, first Viscount Stormont, obtained a charter of the cas- 
tlestead of Falkland, with the office of ranger of the Lomonds and forester of the 
woods ; and he also held the office of captain or keeper of the palace, and Stewart of 
the stewartry of Fife. The lands called the Castlestead, with the offices and other parts 
of the lands of Falkland, were afterwards acquired by John, first Duke of Athol, who 
was appointed one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of state in 1696, and lord 
i commissioner to the Scottish Parliament the following year. He was twice ap- 
pointed to the office of keeper of the Privy Seal, and was made an extraordinary lord 
of Session in 1712. The lands and offices thus connected, afterwards, so far as not 
abolished in 1746, came into the possession of the family of Skene of Halyards, from 
whom they were purchased by the late J. Bruce, Esq., descended from the family of 
Bruce of Earlshall, one of his Majesty's printers for Sc ! ' ' death, he was 

succeeded in these as well as in his other extensive estates, by h , Miss Bru< . 

now the wife of O. Tyndale Bruce, Esq. 

ee Vol. I. rage 25. 


At a very carl}' period, the earls of Fife had a residence here, which was called the 
castle of Falkland. Not a vestige of this building now remains, but its site appears to 
have been in the immediate neighbourhood of where the palace was afterwards built, 
on a part of what now forms the garden of Mr Bruce. It was in this castle, not in 
any portion of the present palace, as is generally supposed, that the horrible atrocity 
was executed, of starving to death the young duke of Rothsay, eldest son of Robert III. ; 
an atrocity which there seems no reason to doubt, was planned by his uncle the earl of 
Fife, and for the carrying of which into execution he found a ready instrument in Sir 
John Ramorney of Ramorney, a discarded companion of the unsuspecting victim.* 
After the lands and castle of Falkland came to the crown, by the forfeiture of the earl- 
dom, the first three James's occasionally resided at the castle, enjoying the pleasures of 
the chase in the adjoining forest, and on the Lomond hills : and in consequence of this 
the charter was granted by James II., erecting the town into a royal burgh. It is im- 
possible now to ascertain whether James III. or James IV. began to build the palace 
as both of these monarchs were fond of architecture, and both of them employed 
workmen at Falkland ; but the work was completed by James V., and the palace from 
that time became a favourite residence with the Scottish monarchs. Here then James 
V. held his court in all the barbaric magnificence of the period ; and here he died of 
grief, at the disgrace brought upon his country, by the opposition of his factious and 
turbulent nobility. Here Mary cf Guise, his widowed rpieen, often resided, while she 
governed the kingdom for her infant daughter ; and here she found it necessary to give 
her reluctant consent to the armistice agreed to at Cupar muir, between the lords of 
the congregation, and the duke of Chatelherault and Monsieur D'Oysel. Here the 
unfortunate Mary often resided, after her return from France, and sought relief in the 
sports of the field, from the many troubles of her short but unhappy reign. She appears 
first to have visited it in September, 1561, on her way from St Andrew's to Edinburgh. 
She returned in the beginning of the following year, having left Edinburgh to avoid 
the brawls which had arisen between the earls of Arran and Bothwell, and resided 
partly at Falkland, and partly at St Andrew's, for two or three months : she occupied 
her mornings in hunting on the banks of the Eden, or in trials of skill in archery in her 
garden ; and her afternoons in reading the Greek and Latin classics with Buchanan, 
or in chess, or with music. During 1563, after her return from her expedition to the 
north, she visited this palace, where she made various short excursions to places in the 
neighbourhood ; and again, in 1564, and after her marriage with Darnley in 1565. Alter 
the birth of her son, she visited Falkland, but this appears to have been the last time, 
as the circumstances which so rapidly succeeded each other, after the murder of Darn- 
ley, and her marriage with Bothwell, left her no longer at leisure to enjoy the retire- 
ment it had previously afforded her. 

* See Vol. I., p. 69. 


'' James VI., while he remained in Scotland, resided often at the palace of Falkland, 
and indeed it seems to have been his favourite residence. Alter the raid of Ruthvcn, 
James retired here, calling his friends together for the purpose of consulting as to the 
best means of relieving himself from the thraldom under which he had thus been 
placed ; and he was again at Falkland in 1592, when the carl of Bothwell made one of 
his desperate attempts on the king's person, which led to the imprisonment of the voung 
laird of Logic, whose escape forms the subject of an ancient ballad. After the riots in 
Edinburgh in 1 JQ'i, James again retired here, where he employed himself partly in hunt- 
ing, and partly in plotting the destruction of the presb} terian religion, ami the introduc- 
tion of episcopacy. In the end of 1600, James was again residing at Falkland, when the 
Gowry conspiracy, as it has been called, took place. The king, one morning, was about 
to mount his horse, to follow his favourite sport, when the mysterious message was de- 
livered to him by Alexander Ruthvcn, brother to the carl of Gowrie, which (tided in the 
murder of both these young noblemen. In 1617, when James, now king of Greal I Britain, 
visited Scotland, he, in his progress through the kingdom, paid his last visit to Falkland. 
In 1633, when Charles I. visited Scotland, he slept three nights here, on his way to Perth, 
and on his return, he slept two nights in going to Edinburgh, and created several gen- 
tlemen of the county knights on the occasion. Upon the 6th of July, 1650, Charles II., 
who returned from the continent on the 23d of the preceding month, visited Falkland, 
where he resided some days, receiving the homage of that part of his subjects who 
were desirous of his restoration to the crown of his ancestors ; and here he again re- 
turned (after his coronation at Scoone) onthe22d of January, 1651, and again remained 
some daj -. 

The oldest portion of the palace, which was erected either by James III. or James 
IV., forms the south front, as seen in the engraving of the town and palace, and is still 

:i After describing his Majesty's progress from the north where he landed, by I >undee to St Andrews, 
and thence to Cupar, Lament, in Diary, p. 20, says:—" After this he went to Faklande all night. 
All this tyme the most pairt of the gcntclmcn of (lie shyre 'lid goc alongs with him. The tyme that. 
he abode at Faklande, he went downe one day and dyned at the E. of Wemyes' house, and another 
att Lesley with the K. of Rothus. * * * * From St Johnston he came to faklande, .Ian. tt, 
1651. Sir James Balfour, in his Annals of Scotland, says, " The 5 of Julij 1650 hi; Ma'" cam from 
StAndrewes, and wes banqueted in Couper to his auen housseof Falkland one Saterday. .My L. the 
Earle of Arundaill intertained him wntill Monday at night. Falkland !) Julij. I deuysscd I'm- the 
impresse to he putt one hes Majesties coronation pirn at lies command ; lies face to be one the one 
syde of it, with this circumscription— Carol : Secundus, D. <>'. Sent: Angl : Fran: el Hyber: Rex, 
Fidci defensor, &c. ; and on the rcversse, a Iyone rampant, holding in his paw a thistell of 3 stems, with 
this circumscriptione, " Xemo me impune lacessit ;" and below the lyons foottc one (he lembe, " Co- 
ronat : Die Mensis A 1650. ***** Mr Thomas Nicolsone, his Ma ^duocat, wes 

knighted in the withdrauing roumc at Falkland, after supper on Wednesday, the 10 of Julij instant. 
His Majesty staye 1 at Falkland wntill Tuesday the 23 of Julij fromquhence he did remoue to lVrtlic 
for one night, quher he was feasted with all his Irainc by the magistrats. 


partially inhabited. This view is taken from the rising ground, a short way south-east 
of the road which leads from the New Inn to Auchtermuchty. In the centre of the pic- 
ture is the palace, and partly in front, and stretching towards the right, is seen a por- 
tion of the town, while in the extreme right is the steeple of the town house. This 
part of the palace consists of two distinct portions of building, in different styles of 
architecture. The eastmost portion, that nearest the point of view, is two stories in 
height, and in the monastic style. On each floor there are six windows, square topped, 
and divided by mullions into two lights. Between the windows, the front is supported 
by buttresses, enriched with niches, in which statues were placed, the mutilated re- 
mains of which are still to be seen, and terminating in ornamented pinnacles, which rise 
considerably above the top of the wall. The lower floor is the part inhabited, and the 
upper floor is entirely occupied by a large hall, anciently the chapel of the palace. The 
western part of this front of the palace is in the castellated style, and of greater height 
than the other : it is ornamented with two round towers, between which is a lofty arch- 
way, which forms the entrance to the court-yard behind, and which, in former times, 
was secured by strong doors, and could be defended from the towers which flank it. 

James V. made great additions to the palace, and appears to have erected two 
ranges of building, equal in size to that described, on the east and north sides of the 
court-yard. As completed by him, therefore, the palace occupied three sides of a square 
court, the fourth or western side being enclosed by a lofty wall. The range of building 
on the north side of the court has now entirely disappeared, and of that on the west, 
the bare walls alone remain ; these two portions of the palace having been accident- 
ally destroyed by fire in the reign of Charles II. Having erected his addition to the 
palace, in the Corinthian style of architecture, James assimilated the inner front of the 
older part of the building, by erecting a new facade in the same style with the rest of 
the building. The view of the palace from the court-yard, which shows the fronts of the 
building on the south and east sides of the court, will give a better idea of their beauty 
and elegance than any mere verbal description. The building, it will be seen, consisted 
of two stories, a basement or lower floor, and a principal one, the windows of which 
are large and elegant, when we consider the period. Between the windows, the fagade 
is ornamented with finely proportioned Corinthian pillars, having rich capitals; and 
above the windows are medalions, presenting a series of heads carved in high relief, some 
of which are beautifully executed, and would lead us to believe that more than native 
talent had been engaged in the work. On the top of the basement which supports the 
pillars, the initials of the king, and of his queen, Mary of Guise, are carved alternately. 
The architect who designed this building, and superintended its erection, was in all pro- 
bability Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, a natural son of the first earl of Arran, who 
was cup-bearer to James V., steward of the household, and superintendent of the royal 
palaces. He was accused of high treason, tried, convicted, and executed as a traitor, in 
August, 1540. The palace is now the property of Mr Bruce, who takes great interest in 


its careful preservation, as well as in ornamenting the court-yard with flowers and shrubs 
and the ground in its immediate neighbourhood, which he has laid out as a garden. 

Of the ancient forest of Falkland, in which the Scottish kings so often enjoyed the 
pleasures of the chase, nothing now remains, except the natural wood at Drumdreel 
mentioned in the account of the neighbouring parish of Strathmiglo. It had been 
carefully preserved, so long as Falkland remained a royal residence ; but it is probable 
that after the departure of James VI. to England, less care had been taken of it. It 
was utterly destroyed, however, in 1652, by Cromwell, who ordered the trees to be 
cut down, for the purpose of their being used in the construction of the fort he erected 
at Dundee. " This yeare," says Lamont, " the English beganne to cutt downe Fack- 
land wood ; the most pairt of the tries were oakes." 

About a mile west of Falkland, amidst pleasant and well-wooded enclosures, is Nut- 
hill, the residence of Mr Bruce. In 1602, Sir David Murray of Gospetrie, had a 
charter of these lands, as also of Balmblae, in the immediate neighbourhood ; and from 
him they descended to the viscounts Stormont, ancestors of the earl of Mansfield. Alt r- 
wards Nuthill came to the family of Malcolm of Balbedy ; and at the beginning of the 
present century, it was the seat of George Sandilands, Esq. Balmblae became the 
residence of a branch of the family of Carmichael of Balmedy. Both places were 
purchased by the late Mr Bruce. Farther west is Kilgour, where the old church once 
stood, also the property of Mr Bruce. North of the burgh, and between it and the Eden, 
are the farms of Falkland Wood, Darno, Wood Mill, Glenshervie, and Ravenshall, all 
the property of Mr Bruce. South-east of the town, and immediately behind the manse, 
are the Temple lands of Falkland, the property of the Rev. William Thomson, minister 
of the parish. Anciently these lands belonged to the knights templars, and afterwards 
to the knights of St John, or knights Hospitallers. The superiority of the lands now 
belongs to J. B. Gracie, Esq., W. S., who is superior of all the: Temple lands in Fife. 
Immediately east of the manse is Kilgourieknow, the property of Mr James Blyth ; and 
south-east of it, Balrevie, the property of Mr David Duncan. South of B tlrevie is Purin, 
the property of C. M. Walker A) ton, Esq.; south-east of Purin, and on the eastern slope 
of the Lomonds,is Drums, which at the time Sibbald wrote, belonged to a family of the 
name of Lundin, representatives of the ancient house of Lundin, of Lundin. The last 
proprietor of this name, about the beginning of the present century, sold the mansion- 
house, and the greater part of the lands, to William I [epburn, Esq. ; and after several 
transmissions through other hands, they were purchased, in 1815, by the late Capt. James 
Jameson, H.E.I. C.N. S. The present fiar in the lands, is his brother, Andrew Jameson, 
Esq., sheriff-substitute of the county; but they arc life-rented by Mrs Jameson, the 
widow of the late proprietor. Immediately below, to the north, is Nether Drums, the 
property of Mr Johnston of Lathrisk. Between Nether Drums and the New Inn, is 
Pitillock, which previous to the middle of the seventeenth century, belonged to a family 
of the name of Lumsdaine. From the last of this family it was purchased in 1051, 


by Andrew Law Baillie of Falkland, and remained with his posterity till the present 
century. It is now the property of John Balfour, Esq. of Balbirnie. 

On the south side of the Lomonds, and at the west end of the parish, is Wester 
Ballo, the property of George W. Hope, Esq., and near it Easter Ballo, the property of 
James Wilson, Esq. East of this is Glasslie, the property of Mr William Kilgour ; and 
farther up the hill, Hangingmyre, the property of Mr Balfour of Balbirnie. On these 
lands there is a lead mine, which was worked about GO years ago, and silver extracted 
from the ore, but it has been long given up. As to this mine, George Buist, Esq., in 
an essay on the Geology of Fife, with a perusal of the MSS. of which we have been 
favoured, says, "After a minute and laborious enquiry, I was enabled to reach the site 
of the east Lomond silver mine, for as such it was worked, the galena being argentife- 
rous. The vein, which is externally covered over with earth, seems to cut the sand- 
stone and limestone which there prevail from north-west to south-east. Judging from 
the aspect of the rubbish still existing, the veinstone seems to have been hornstone, or 
other siliceous matter. The mine was worked about 60 years since at the expense of 
the then proprietor, Mr Stewart of East Conland, under the management of an Eng- 
lishman of the name of Williamson. The water mine which drained it, is still visible, 
and the traces of the workings are observable, partly obliquely by the end and in 
front of the farm-house of the Hangingmyre. Williamson seems to have been the 
Dousterswivel of his time, and managed to make the proprietor take on himself the 
whole outlay, while he appropriated all the returns. A considerable quantity of metal 
was melted at temporary works erected on the spot, and its silver said to have been 
extracted. At length, under pretence that it would be more profitable to transport the 
ore to England, about six tons were sent to Perth for shipment ; and Williamson him- 
self absconded with the ore, leaving his half-ruined employer unable to proceed farther 
with the mining operations. It will thus be seen that the lead ore here has never yet 
been properly searched for, or worked, and the mine may contain metal worthy of more 
minute inquiry than has yet been made with regard to it." East of Glasslie is Wester 
Conland, the property of William Johnston, Esq. of Lathrisk, which at the time Sibbald 
wrote, belonged to Mr David Kinloch, the representative of the ancient family of Kin- 
loch of that ilk ; and near it is Easter Conland, anciently belonging to cadets of Hay of 
Naughton, now to Mr William Inglis. 

. IV. The church of Falkland is a very old building, situated in the principal street 
of the town. It is usually very well attended. The manse is pleasantly situated near 
the base of the east Lomond Hill, where there is a good glebe. The stipend is 256 
bolls, half meal, half barley ; 16 bolls of bear; and £8 : 6 : 8 sterling, for communion 
elements. The Rev. "William Thomson is the present incumbent; O. T. Bruce, Esq. 
the patron. There is a chapel in the village of Freuchie, in connection with the United 
Associate Synod, of which the Rev. John Gray is minister; and a small independent 
meeting-house in the town of Falkland. The parish school is in the town of Falkland ; 


and the average attendance of scholars is about 100. The schoolmaster has the maxi- 
mum salary, and £'20 per annum in place of a house and garden. There are two 
unendowed schools in the town ; and there is also a well-attended school in the village 
of Freuchie. 

A". The population of the parish in 175.5, according to Dr Webster, was 1795. In 
1792, it had increased to 219S. In 1801, it was 2,211; in 181 1, -2:517; in 1821,2459; 
and in 1S31, 2G5S. The following is the analysis of the returns in 1S31. 

Males, 20 years of age, 679; total males, !2->7; females, 1371 ; total, 2 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 110; ditto in trade, manufactures, or handicraft, 354; 
all other families, not included in these two classes, 170; total number of families, 634. 

Occupiers of laud employing labourers, 17; ditto not employing labourers, 46; labourers em- 
ployed in agriculture, 85. 

Persons employed in manufactures, 289; ditto in retail trade or in handicraft, as master or work- 
men, 131 ; labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 59. 

Professional, and other educated men, l.°>; all other males not including servant-. ' 

Male servants above 20 years of age, 9; female servants, 14. 

Inhabited houses, 513; uninhabited do. 10; building, 1. 

VI. Few parishes have made greater advances in agricultural improvement than 
this. At the time the first statistical account was written, about one half of the parish 
was pasture ground; but since the division of the Lomonds, tin's is no longer the cas r. 
The extensive drainage which has been effected by the late Mr Bruce, and continued 
by the present enlightened proprietor, has reclaimed a great extent of ground ; and 
excellent grain crops are now produced far up the height of the Lomonds, where for- 
merly there was only pasture for sheep. The soil of the parish is very varied ; but 
throughout the whole of the northern part of the parish especially, it has been improved 
by draining and enclosures. There are 14 threshing machines in the parish, two of 
which are driven by steam and two by water; and there arc three corn mills driven 
by water power. The valued rent of the parish is £582 1 Scots; the annual value of 
real property for which it was assessed in 1815, was £81 11 sterling. 

A great part of the population in the town of Falkland, and in the villages, arc em- 
pi yed in the weaving of linen goods of different descriptions. Dowlas and sheeting 
are chiefly made for the manufacturers of Dundee, Newburgh, Cupar, and Ceres; 
diaper and towelling for the manufacturers of Dunfermline ; and drills for those of 
Kirkaldy and Dysart. There arc no manufacturers carrying on business on their own 
account in the town of Falkland ; but there is one who manufactures dowlas and 
sheeting in the village of Newton of Falkland ; and six engaged in the manufacture of 
window blinds in the village of Freuchie. 

VII. Sergeant Spankie, who has long been eminent at the English bar, and who for 
some years held the office of a judge in India, and has repeatedly served in parliament, 
is a native of Falkland ; his father having been minister of the parish. The name of 

VOL. ii. 2 G 


Mrs Brown, wife of the Rev. Andrew Brown, also minister here, has become well 
known since the publication of the "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border," of Sir Walter 
Scott, and the " Popular Ballads and Songs" of Robert Jamieson, A. M., in conse- 
quence of the acknowledgments by both these editors, of the assistance they received 
from her great knowledge of the popular poetry of Scotland. Mrs Brown had 
resided in her early youth near the source of Dee, in Braemar, with an aunt, whose 
memory was stored with all the legendary and chivalric tales and songs which then 
still amused the winter evenings in the remote districts of the country. Mrs Brown 
having an excellent memory retained almost the whole of these ; and from her recita- 
tion they were at the request of the late William Tytler, Esq., father of Lord Wood- 
houselee, written down by her nephew Mr Scott. From this MSS. then in possession 
of Lord Woodhouselee, Sir Walter obtained many of the fine ballads he has published. 
As to her share in Mr Jamieson's work, he says in his preface, " For the groundwork 
of this collection, and for the greater and more valuable part of the popular and 
romantic tales which it contains, the public are indebted to Mrs Brown of Falkland. 
Besides the large supply of ballads, taken down from her own recitation many years 
ago by Professor Scott of Aberdeen: — In 1800, I paid an unexpected visit to Mrs 
Brown, at Dysart, where she then happened to be for her health, and wrote down from 
her unpremeditated repetition about a dozen pieces more, most of which will be found in 
my work. Several others, which I had not time to take down, were afterwards trans- 
mitted to me by Mrs Brown herself, and by her late highly respectable and worthy 
husband, the Rev. Dr Brown." 

Richard Cameron who for a time acted a conspicuous part in the resistance to epis- 
copacy in the reign of Charles II., was born in Falkland, where his father was a mer- 
chant. He was originally himself an episcopalian and acted as schoolmaster of the 
parish, and precentor to the curate. He appears afterwards to have attended the 
preaching of the indulged presbyterians, but ultimately to have joined the party who 
refused the indulgence and sought the glens and the lonely muirs for their places of 
worship. He was licensed to preach by the outed ministers, and soon became a leader 
of the high party. His preaching, though highly acceptable to the people who followed 
him, became most obnoxious to the government ; and, in 1680, a reward of 5000 mcrks 
was offered for his apprehension. He was killed at Airsmoss, in Ayrshire, the same 
year, in a skirmish with the king's troops under Bruce of Earlshall, and Sir John 
Cochran of Ochiltree. On this occasion, Hackston of Rathillet was taken prisoner, 
and carried to Edinburgh ; the head of Cameron being borne before him on a pike. 
Cameron's body was buried in the moss along with the others killed there. His grave 
became a place of resort for the hill people ; and here Peden, another of the party, sat 
musing, and raising his eyes to heaven, said, "O! to be wi' Ritchie." From Richard 
Cameron, that body now denominated " the Reformed Presbyterian church " were 
designated Cameronians. 


VIII. This parish contains several objects of antiquarian interest, which like those 
already mentioned in Strathmiglo parish, colonel Miller has endeavoured to connect 
with the movements of the Roman and British armies previous to the battle of Mons. 
Grampius, which he supposes to have been fought at Mearlsford. " The fortifications on 
east Lomond Hill," he says, " has been perfected with great labour, and very considerable 
skill, although the works are irregular. ( )n the summit there arc two works 1 50 yards in 
circumference. There have been four defences on the north side, the lower ditch of 
which is carried through the rock in one place. On the west side there is a ravelin 
which would not disgrace a modern engineer; and on the south side there is a ditch 
about 100 yards below the summit, and nearly 200 yards long, which has either been 
filled in at the east end, or never finished. The remainder of it is about six feet deep, 
and the earth is thrown up in the inside to form a rampart, which is still in excellent 
preservation. Between the east and west Lomonds, and about half way below these 
summits, the ground presents the appearance of a plain, sloping gently towards the 
east, although very much broken. This, I conceive to have been the position of the 
Caledonians previous to the battle. This plain slopes gently down towards the neigh- 
bouring country on the south side, which is still very swampy, and must then have been 
a bog, and impassable for an army. Along the edge of this bog there still exist what 
appear to me to be very distinct traces of fortification, particularly at the farm of 
Glasslie, where there are the remains of three circular forts surrounded by ditches, 
although much obliterated by the plough. On the north side of the plain, a ledge of 
rocks extends almost the whole way, which makes the position very strong on that 
side ; except on the north side of the west Law, where there has been a slide of the 
mountain called the Hoglayers, by which I conceive the Caledonians descended to 
battle. A mile w T est from Falkland also, there is a part of the mountain called the 
Greenhill, which projects from the main ridge; and between that and the east Law the 
ground slopes gradually down to Falkland, which renders the ascent on that side com- 
paratively easy. On the west side of the Greenhill there is also a narrow pass called 
the Arrities, on the west side of which there is a chain of small circular forts amounting 
to eight or nine ; and in the gorge between these two there is an old fort in excellent 
preservation, called the Maiden Castle. It occupies an oval hill, and is 100 yards in 
circumference. The ditch runs round the base of it, and the earth is thrown outwards, 
owing to the steepness of the ground, the scarp being in some places 20 feet high, and 
along the northern brow of the hill there are traces of huts having been excaval d. 
On the east side of the castle, and a considerable distance from it, there are five or six 
small circular forts sonic of which have been built principally of stone. These 
various works, colonel Miller i to have been constructed when the Caledonians 

took up a position here after their defeat at Lochore, and previous to the great battle 

[n [uirj on the battle of .Mons Grampius, pp. 1 7 — 22. 


fought at Mearlsford. That they are British forts there can be little doubt; but whether 
they were all constructed at the period alluded to, and for the purpose conjectured, 
or whether they were constructed on different occasions and for other purposes, it would 
be rash now to decide. 

I West of Falkland, and on the lands of Nuthill, are the remains of extensive lines 
which the colonel supposes had been constructed by the Roman general previous to his 
taking up his position in the camp at Pitlour. These works were quite entire about 40 
years ago. " The only part of them now remaining is six ditches, an hundred yards 
distant from the base of the hill. The greatest length of them is about 250 yards, but 
they formerly extended about fifty yards farther east. They lie upon the west end of 
a low ridge which comes to a point, and do not run parallel to each other, but follow 
the nature of the ground, and approximate towards the west ; several of them join ; 
several of them are cut partly through rock, and are still about twenty feet deep, but 
were formerly much more. At their western extremity, a narrow valley cuts the posi- 
tion obliquely, through which a brook runs ; and only two ramparts have been carried 
across this valley, apparently for the purpose of forming an inundation. On the north 
side of this, three immense ramparts, with corresponding ditches, extended in a north- 
west direction about S00 yards. These were levelled about twenty-two years ago, but 
can still be partially traced. In front of the existing ditches, which formed the centre 
of the position, but a little to the right, and resting apparently upon the inundation, two 
parallel ditches and ramparts commenced, and extending due east about 1,100 yards, 
terminated opposite the east Law near to Falkland ; but these works were not so large 
as the others, as the ground was more favourable. These lines thus formed an obtuse 
angle with the right thrown back from the mountain, and they appear to have been 
quite open to the rear. The centre is the weakest point, and the nearest to the moun- 
tain ; hence the extraordinary manner in which it has been fortified. It is evident they 
must have been occupied with reference to an enemy on the mountain above them. This, 
I think, clearly appears from their proximity to it, from the defences being all on that 
side, and from its being altogether a forced position, and possessing no natural advan- 
tages. Hence the skill and extraordinary labour that have been required to make them 
defensible. As far as I am able to judge, it must have required the labour of as many 
hands as could be employed on them at least a fortnight."* 

* Inquiry, pp. 20 and 21. 



I. This parish lies cast of Falkland, occupying a portion of the valley of the Eden, on 
the south side of that stream, and ascending- to the south partly over the range of hills 
which form the southern boundary of the Strath. Its extreme length from east to west 
is about six miles and a half; its breadth varied; and its form irregular. At the east 
end its breadth is nearly two miles ; about the middle it is nearly three miles ; and at 
the west end for about two miles it is little more than half a mile in breadth. It is 
bounded on the south by the parishes of Markinch and Kennowav ; on the east by 
Scoonie or Leven, Ceres, and Cults ; on the north by Cults and Collessie ; and on the 
west by the parish of Falkland. There are five villages in the parish ; the largest of 
which is Kettle, situated on the low ground on the south side of the Eden, and north 
of the turnpike road from Cupar to Kirkaldy, by New Inn. The other villages are 
Holekettle or Burnside, on the public road, a short way to the south-west ; Bankton- 
park, to the north-west, and near the river ; Balmalcolm, about half a mile south-east 
also on the public road ; and Coalton of Burnturk, about a mile south-east of Balmal- 
colm on the high ground. Kettle is a post town, and has one arrival and departure 
daily; and the nearest market town is Cupar. The different coaches from Edinb 
to Dundee and Aberdeen pass through the parish daily, affording ample means of com- 
munication with the south and north. Fish is regularly supplied from the towns on the 
south coast ; butcher meat and bread are brought by carts from Cupar ; and beer is sup- 
plied from Freuchie or Letham. 

The name of the parish was anciently Lathrisk, or as it is sometimes spelt in old 
charters, Lorresk, from the circumstance of the parish church being formerlj ! 

on the lands of that name at the west end of the parish. The church, manse, an 
having been removed about 1636 to the village of Kettle, the parish has from that time 
received the name of the village. In old deeds the name of the village is sometimes 
written Catul, sometimes Katul. From that portion of the lands of Kettle on which the 
village is situated belonging anciently to the crown, the village as well as the parish is 
often called King's Kettle. There are sixteen heritors, whose yearly rents are above 
£50 sterling, of whom only six, however, reside in the parish. 

II. The earliest notice we have of the lands of Kettle is in the charter of Malcolm 
IV., to which we have already had occasion to allude, by which that monarch, in the 
seventh year of his reign (1166), granted his lands of Strathmiglo, Falkland, A" 
Rathillet in Fife, and Strathbran in Perthshire, to Duncan, earl of Fife, on his mar- 
riage with Ada the king's niece. The lands of Kettle continued part of the estates of 


the earls of Fife till their forfeiture in 1437, when they again reverted to the crown. 
The village of Kettle is the property of a great number of small feuars ; but the lands 
of Kettle is now the property of the Rev. David Symers, minister of the parish of 
Kettins in Forfarshire. West of the village is Orkie Mill and lands, belonging to James 
Thompson, Esq. ; and Orkie, the property of the trustees of the endowed school at 
Drumeldrie. West of Orkie is Riga's, the property of Mr James Swan ; and at the 
western end of the parish Lathrisk, the property of William Johnston, Esq., of Lathrisk, 
which of old belonged to a family of the same name. John Seaton, descended from 
Seaton of Parbroath, married Janet Lathrisk of that ilk, and with her acquired these 
lands, which remained with their descendants until about the middle of last centurv. 
South-west of the village is Forthar, the property of John Balfour, Esq. of Balbirnie, 
which in Sibbald's time " was the scat of a gentleman of the name of Pitcairn, the re- 
presentative of secretary Pitcairn. It had formerly belonged to a family named 
Ramsay." Immediately south of the village, and upon the hillside, is Chapel, a portion 
of the lands of Kettle originally belonging to the church, and called Chapel- Kettle from 
the circumstance of a chapel having been there situated, in contradistiction to the part 
of the lands belonging to the crown, which were called King's Kettle. The lands of 
Chapel have long belonged to a family of the name of Arnot, of which the present pro- 
prietor, Thomas Arnot, Esq., is the representative. Upon the last day of December, 
1558, James, commendator of the priory of St Andrew's, desponed the church lands 
called Chapel-Kettle to John Arnot and his heirs, declaring that he and his progenitors 
had been possessors of these lands past the memory of man.* 

At the south-eastern extremity of the parish, where it borders with Scoonie and 
Ceres, is Clatto, the property of John Balfour, Esq. of Balbirnie. Here there are the 
remains of an old tower, which is said to have anciently belonged to a family of the 
name of Seaton, of whom the tradition still is, that they were very notorious robbers 
and murderers. The old road from Cupar to Kinghorn passed through Clatto den, and 
in the face of the hill, which forms its boundary, there is alleged to be a cave, which 
communicated with the tower of Clatto, and had another opening to the road, from 
which the Seatons rushed out upon the unsuspecting passengers, who had occasion to 
pass along the road, and dragging them into the cave, robbed and murdered them. 
The following is the traditional account of the discovery and punishment of these 
assassins. "One of the Scottish kings, said to have been James IV., passing that way 
alone, was attacked by a son of the laird of Clatto ; but the king immediately drew his 
sword, and with one blow cut off the right hand of the robber, with which he had 
seized hold of the bridle of the king's horse. The robber on this made his escape, 
and the king having taken possession of the hand, rode off. Next day, attended by a 
proper retinue, his majesty visited the tower of Clatto, wishing to see Seaton and his 

* Sibbald, p. 385. 


sons, who were noted as hardy cut uprising men. The old man conducted his 
family into the presence of the king, but it was observed that one of the son- 
absent. He, it was alleged, had been hurt by an accident, and was confined to bed. 
The king insisted on seeing him, and desired to feel his pulse. The young ma 
out his left hand, but his majesty requested to have the right. After man . 
the robber was obliged to confess that he had lost his right hand. The king then told 
him that he had a hand, which was at his service if it fitted him ; and the aorv hand 
of the robber was produced. The Icing explained how it came into his possession, 
and the culprit's guilt was evident. The whole family were thereupon, it is said, appre- 
hended, tried, and executed, for the various robberies and murders they had com- 
mitted." Such is the tradition as to the castle and den of Clatto ; but it is necessary 
to mention that there is now no appearance of the cave, all trace of it having been 
obliterated " by the breaking down of the banks" of the den at this place. West of 
Clatto, and on the other side of Clatto hill, is Dovan, belonging at one time to a 
family of the name of Boswell, cadets of Boswell of Bahnuto, and now to Mr Balfour 
of Balbirnie. 

North-west of Clatto, and near the low ground, is Downfield, the property of James 
Home Rigg, Esq. of Downfield and Morton ; and still farther to the north-west 
Fronthill, the property of Mr Thallon. Immediately below Fronthill, and near the 
high road, is the village and lands of Balmalcolm, partly divided among feuars, and 
partly the property of Mr Inglis ; and east of this, Burnturk, the property of David 
Adamson, Esq. North of Burnturk, and on the other side of the Eden, is Ramorney, 
the seat of James Herriot, Esq. of Ramorney. These lands belonged, at an early 
period, to the family of Ramorney of that ilk, from whom was descended Sir John 
Ramorney, the supposed murderer of David, duke of Rothsay. The lands afterwards 
came to the family of Heriot, who have long possessed them. This family having failed 
in the male line, they were claimed by the present proprietor, as heir of entail. lie 
was the second son of the Hon. Frederick Lewis Maitland, sixth son of Charles sixth, 
earl of Lauderdale, who married the heiress of Lindores and Rankedlour-Makgill. 
After a protracted litigation, he established his claim to the estate of Ramorney, and 
assumed the name and arms of Heriot of Ramorney. 

III. The church, which was a vicarage belonging to the priory of St Andrew's, ori- 
ginally stood at Lathrisk, besides which there were two chapels in the parish — one at 
Chapel, and the other at Clatto. In 1036, the chapels having been suppressed alter 
the reformation, the church was removed to the village of Kettle, as more in the centre 
of the parish than where it had hitherto stood. The present church was built within 
the last five years; is seated to contain about 1200, and cost, with the price of the 
ground, about £3000 sterling. It is in the pointed style of architecture, with a hand- 

* See p. 105. 


some tower, containing a clock, and terminated by ornamental pinnacles. It forms 
a rather fine object in the landscape of this part of the valley of the Eden. The manse, 
which was built in 1792, is in good order, and there is an excellent garden. The glebe 
is of the legal extent, but is of very poor soil, and would not let to a tenant for above 
£3 sterling. The stipend is 124 bolls, 3 firlots, 2 pecks, 3 lippies meal ; 115 bolls, 3 
firlots, 2 lippies barley ; and £8 6 : 8 : sterling, for communion elements. The Rev. 
Peter Barclay, D. D. * is the present incumbent; the patronage of the parish is in 
the crown. Besides the parish church, there is a chapel in the village connected with 
the Relief Synod, of which the Rev. Daniel Gome is minister. The dissenters in 
the parish amount to about one-third of the whole population. 

An excellent school-house has been erected within the last few years, and a good 
dwelling-house for the teacher. His salary is the maximum, and with the session- 
clerkship, and the school fees, which are low, may amount to between £60 and £70 per 
annum. There are, upon an average, about thirty persons on the regular poor roll, 
besides a number of others who receive occasional supply. The collection at the 
church door amounts only to about £20 per annum ; but the heritors, by a voluntary 
assessment, contribute about £100 sterling annually, for the support of the poor. 

IV. The population of the parish in 1755, according to Dr Webster's return, was 
1621 ; in 1778, it was 1643; and in 1790, 1759. In 1S01, the population had in- 
creased to 1SS9; in 1811, to 1968; in 1821, to 2046; and in 1831, to 2071. Of 
these there resided in the village of Kettle, 527 ; in Hole Kettle or Burnside, 202 ; in 
Bankton Park, 146; in Balmalcolm, 115 ; and in Coalton, 71 ; in all, 1025 in these 
villages. The following is the analysis of the government return for 1831. 

Males 20 years of age, 507; total males, 1009 ; females, 10G2 ; total population, 2071. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 81 ; ditto in trade, manufactures, and handicraft, 229 ; 
all other families, 1-D2 ; total families, 462. 

Occupiers of land employing labourers, 21; ditto not employing labourers, 22; labourers employed 
in agriculture, 66. 

Persons employed in manufacture, 213 ; ditto in retail trade or in handicraft, SI ; labourers em- 
ployed in labour, not agricultural, 73. 

Capitalists, professional, or other educated men, 1 8 ; oilier males 20 years of age (except servants,) 

Male servants 20 years of age, 4 ; female servants, •' . 

V. The rent of land varies in this parish from £1 : 10 to £2 : 15 per acre on the low 
ground, and from 13s. to £1 : 12 on the high ground. Upon an average, there are 

* Dr Barclay was ordained to the ministry in 1 77 s , and is the father of the synod of Fife. He 
wrote his first account of the parish for Sir John Sinclair in 790; and his second for the New Sta- 
tistical account in 1836. 


yearly about 340 acres in summer fallow, potatoes, and drilled beans and pease ; about 
180 in turnips; 250 in wheat; 360 in barley; 900 in oats; 800 in hay; and 1100 in 
pasture. The average yearly value of agricultural produce raised in the parish, includ- 
ing gardens and thinnings of plantations, is about £18,776 sterling. The annual value 
of real property for which the parish was assessed in 1815, was £7017 sterling. The 
valued rent is £6965 : 3 : 4 Scots. 

There are a few manufacturers in the parish, who carry on the manufacture of 
dowlas, and linen window-blinds to the extent of about £1,500 per annum. There 
are 378 looms in the parish, nine-tenths of which are employed in the weaving of 
dowlas, and the other tenth in that of window-blinds. The manufacturers of Kettle 
do not employ the whole of the looms in the parish, many of the weavers working for 
the manufacturers of Newburgh; but, upon the other hand, a portion of the goods 
made by the manufacturers here are woven in other parishes. Upon a small stream, 
which forms the boundary between this parish and Falkland, there are three mills for 
spinning linen yarn, which arc each moved by a water wheel. 

At Forthar there are extensive lime-works, which employ a number of labourers. 
The average yearly value of lime sold is about £1800. There is a coal-work at 
Burnturk, though of no great extent. There arc also quarries of free-stone, and whin- 
stone, which are partially wrought. 

VI. On Bandon hill, in the south-east part of the parish, overlooking Coalton from 
the east, and commanding an extensive view of the Strath of the Eden to St An- 
drew's bay, are the remains of what appears to have been an ancient British fort. It 
is of a circular form ; and nearly 200 yards in circumference. On Downhill, about 
half a mile to the east, are similar remains. This hill is the highest in the parish, 
and commands a view of the whole Strath of the Leven, the Firth of Forth, and the 
opposite coast of the Lothians. The name Down, is obviously a corruption of the 
Celtic Dun, a fortified hill, to which the Saxon "hill" has subsequently been allixed. 
Upon the Knock of Clathe, another hill in the parish, ahout fifty years ago, some 
workmen employed in digging gravel, found a stone coffin, formed of six separate 
stones, within which were found human bones, and several trinkets, and a spear head 
of brass. There are situated in different parts of the parish, eight barrows or tumuli, in 
several of which human bones have been found. Three of these barrows have names, 
viz. Pundler s Know, and Lowrie's Know, which are on the lands of Forthar, and 
Lackerstone, on the lands of Kettle. 

VOL. II. '2 u 



I. Immediately to the north-east of Kettle, and occupying a portion of the valley of 
Eden, and of the range of bills which form its northern boundary, is the small parish of 
Cults, which in ancient writings is called Quilts or Quilques. Its greatest length from 
south to north, is about two and a quarter miles ; and its greatest breadth from east to 
west, about one and a half miles. It is bounded on the south by the parishes of 
Kettle and Ceres ; on the east by Ceres ; on the north by Cupar and Monimail ; 
and on the west by Collessie and Kettle. There are two miles of turnpike roads, and 
six miles, 1615 yards, of statute labour roads within it. The only village is that of 
Pitlessie, situated about a mile to the north-west of the church, and near the 
western boundary of the parish, and which contains about 516 inhabitants; but 
there are four small hamlets at Cross-gates, Walton, Cults Mill, and Hospital Mill, 
which contain from 22 to 70 inhabitants. There were formerly two annual fairs in 
the village of Pitlessie for the sale of agricultural stock, but one of these has for some 
years been discontinued. The other is still held on the third Wednesday of October, 
O. S. and is well attended. The nearest market and post-town, is Cupar, distant 
about four miles ; from whence letters and parcels are brought by a runner every day. 
The Edinburgh and Dundee coaches pass through the parish daily; and carriers 
from Cupar to Edinburgh, three times a-week ; besides which, there is a carrier from 
Pitlessie to Cupar every Thursday. There are eight houses licensed for the sale of 
spirituous liquors and ale, seven in Pitlessie, and one at Cross-gates ; and there are two 
breweries for small beer. 

II. The greater part of the lands in this parish, belong to the Right Hon. the Earl of 
Glasgow, as heir of the late lady Mary Lindsay Crawford, sister and heiress of the Right 
Hon. George, twentieth Earl of Crawford, on whose death that ancient title is suppos- 
ed to have become extinct. A claim, however, to the titles and estates, was made 
several years ago by John Lindsay Crawford, alleged to be descended from the Hon. 
James Crawford third son of John, first viscount Garnock, eldest son of the Hon. 
Patrick Lindsay, second son of John, fourteenth earl of Crawford. A breive having 
been taken out, for serving him nearest heir male to his alleged ancestor, John, first 
viscount Garnock, proof on commission from the court of Session, has been taken both 
in Ireland, where the claimant was born, and in Scotland. Mr Crawford is now 
dead, but the claim was for sometime followed up by his eldest son. It is now how- 
ever, we understand, the opinion of the lawyers employed, that, from the evidence 
adduced, he has no probability of success in his endeavours to prove his descent from 


the Hon. James Crawford ; and consequently it is not likely that any farther attempt 
will be made on his part to disturb the Earl of Glasgow, in his possession of the 
estates. Other persons have claimed the titles, but we are not aware that steps have 
been taken to have any of these investigated, or made good.* 

On the site of an old house, called Crawford lodge, near the north-east extremity of 
the parish, the late lady Mary Lindsay Crawford erected a new house, Crawford castle 
and Priory, which was finished in IS 13. A view of this very splendid mansion is 
given in the engraving, taken from the grounds to the south-west. It consists of two 
portions in different styles of architecture, though perfectly harmonising together. The 
portion nearest the point of view is in the castellated style, ornamented with octagonal 
turrets, and very fine old English windows. The other portion is in the monastic style, 
ornamented also with turrets, terminating in enriched pinnacles. The windows are on 
the perpendicular style. The principal entrance is in the west front, between two octagonal 
towers, as appears in the engraving, but the entrance to the priory, which is in the south, 
and is also seen in the engraving, is the most elegant and richly ornamented. The great 
hall is a very magnificent room, 53s feet long, by 29 in breadth. It is finished in the 
pointed style, the roof being ornamented with pointed groinings and pendants. At the 
west end, the hall is lighted by a splendid painted window, on which is emblazoned the 
arms of the family, and having a very fine; picture of an apostle in the centre. On the 
south side of the hall, are three recesses enriched with tabernacle work, in which are 
placed upon pedestals three complete coats of mail, fitted up as when worn by theknights 
of old, and having the visors down, and truncheons in their iron hands. The house 
altogether, contains five public rooms, and twenty-seven other fire rooms, besides the 
entrance halls, and kitchen, and servants' departments. The castle was erected 
from designs by David Hamilton, Esq. Glasgow ; and the priory from designs by 
James Gillespie Graham, Esq. Edinburgh. The grounds surrounding this fine man- 
sion are extensive, and richlv wooded ; and the garden, which is distant about one mile 
and a half from the house, contains about 7 acres of ground. Among the woods, on 
the slope of the Walton hill, is the family Mausoleum, erected by George, nineteenth 
earl of Crawford, a handsome building in the Grecian style of architecture. 

On the other side of the Eden, north of Crawford priory, are the lands of Hospital 
mill, the property of George William Hope, Esq. of upper Rankiellour, M. P. At the 
west end of the parish, are the lands and village of Pitlessie, the property of George 
Heggi'.', Esq. the only other proprietor in the parish. Pitlessie belonged anciently to 
Ramorney of that ilk, and was sold in 1439, by Alexander de Ramorney, to John, 
first lord Lindsay of the Byres. With his descendants these lands continued till the 

At an early period some lands in the parish were the properly of the family of Blair of Balthyock 
in Perthshire. In ! 125, David Blair of Balthyock, set in tack all his lands in the pariah of Quylt, 
to William Lindsay. Douglas' Baronage, p. 187. 


reign of Charles II., when they were sold to Crawford of Montquhanie. On the high 
ground to the south, are the lands of Bunzeon, now part of the Crawford estates, but 
which formerly belonged to a family of the name of Bruce, descended from Edward 
Bruce, second son of Robert Bruce^of Clackmannan, ancestor of the earls of Elgin, and 
who received a charter of David II. in 1359, in which he is styled, the king's beloved 
and faithful cousin. Patrick Bruce of Bunzeon, represented the burgh of Cupar in the 
Scottish parliament of 1703, shortly before the union. The old mansion house, which 
is described by Sibbald, as " a pretty little house with good enclosures," has been con- 
verted into a farm house, since the property was joined to the Crawford estates. 

III. The church of Cults was anciently a rectory belonging to the bishoprick of St 
Andrews. In 1455, by the foundation charter of the college of St Salvador, in the 
University of St Andrews, the tiends of Cults, as well as of several other parishes, were 
disponed to it by Bishop Kennedy the founder, and they were subsequently assigned 
to the doctor in theology, being principal in that college, as his endowment. The pre- 
sent church was built in 1793, and though small, is still in good repair. It is situated 
in the centre of the parish, and about a mile distant from the village of Pitlessie. It 
is seated to contain 490 persons, and is usually well filled. The number of communi- 
cants are 348. The manse was built in 1795, and is also in good repair. The glebe 
consists of four acres of good arable land. The stipend consists of the following: bar- 
ley, 41 bolls, 3 firlots, 3 pecks, 2u lippies ; meal, 16 bolls, 3 pecks, 2\\ lippies ; oats, 40 
bolls, 1 peck, 2*4 lippies ; money, including £3:6: 8, for communion elements, 
£12 : 7 : 2, sterling; vicarage, £2:11: 8, sterling ; sum allowed from the Exchequer in 
augmentation, £60 : 2, sterling. The present incumbent is the Rev. James Ander- 
son; the patronage is vested in the Professors of the united college of St Salvador and 
St Leonards. 

There is a chapel at Pitlessie, in connection with the united associate Synod, of 
which the Rev. John Lawson is minister. There are 29 families, consisting of 136 
persons, belonging to the parish connected with it, besides other families belonging to 
neighbouring parishes. There are also 13 families connected Avith the relief synod, 
2 families with the original burgher synod, and 3 families of independents in the 

i The parish school is at the village of Pitlessie. The teacher has the maximum 
salary, a good dwelling house, a school house, and the legal allowance of garden ground. 
The number of scholars usually average about 60. There is also a private school in 
the village, at which the average attendance of scholars is about 45. In a remote part 
of the parish there is a school taught by a female, at which about 20 young children 
attend. A sabbath school is taught in the church, and is attended by from 30 to 40 
young persons, according to the season of the year. 

The average number of poor on the regular roll is 12, who receive from 4s. to 
10s. per month, exclusive of house rent, and a supply of coals in winter. A few 


others receive occasional assistance from the session. The whole expense incurred aver- 
ages about £50 per annum. The funds are derived from the collections at the church 
door, averaging about £12 per annum; a voluntary contribution by the heritors : and for 
the last few years, from a sum of £100 gifted to the kirk session by the Hon. Lord 
Lindsay, residuary legatee of the late lady Alary Lindsay Crawford. 

IV. The population of this parish has nearly doubled since 1751. In that year, 
according to the Session records, it was 464 ; in 1755, the number returned to Dr 
Webster, was only 449 ; in 1791, according to the first statistical account, it was 53 1 ; 
in 1801, it was 699 ; in 1811, 766 ; in 1821, S53 ; in 1831, 903 ; and in 183S, it was 
914. Of these 516 reside in the village of Pitlessie, and 39S in the country. The fol- 
lowing is the analysis of the government census of 1831. 

Males, 20 years of age, 213; total males, 435; females 468; total, 903. 

Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 39 ; ditto in trade, manufactures, or handicraft, 151 ; 

other families not included in these, 21 ; total families, 21 1. 
Persons occupying land, employing labourers, 8; ditto, not employing labourers, 1 ; agricultural 

labourers, 39. 
Persons employed in manufactures, 49 ; ditto, in retail trade, or handicraft, as master or workman, 

68 : labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, ehielly in mine-, 37. 
Professional, and other educated men, 4 ; all other males, 20 years of age, excluding servant 
Male servants, 20 years of age, 4; female servants, 18. 

V. The soil of the parish is varied in quality. On the sides and summits of the hills 
to the south, it is a strong clay, capable of producing excellent crops. About the centre 
of the parish, a soft black loam prevails ; while towards the north the soil is a light 
brownish sand, dry and unproductive, liable, if left long in grass, to be overrun with 
bent broom and furze. A considerable portion of the land is still deficient in draining 
and enclosures. The system of husbandry adopted varies with the soil, but a five years 
rotation very generally prevails. The total number of imperial acres in the parish is near- 
ly 2250 : of which there is under cultivation about 1900 ; constantly waste or in grass, 
140; under wood, about 115; in roads, fences, water, quarries, houses and gard 
about 95. The rent varies from 10s. per acre to £3 : 5 : sterling; and the average 
may be about £1 : 5. The average annual gross amount of agricultural produce, in- 
cluding the produce of gardens and the thinning of plantations, is estimated at £1 1,170 
sterling. There are three mills for Hour, bailey, malt, and oatmeal, moved by tin- water 
of the Eden. There are also three thrashing machines, moved by water, and six by 


The principal branch of industry in which the inhabitants are en th eav- 

ing of linen; but there is no manufacturer in the parish employing his own capital. 
The whole of the linen weavers, male and female, may amount to about 150, who arc 
chiefly employed in weaving dowlas for the manufacturers of Newburgh, Leslie, and 


Kettle. The number of webs woven annually, may be estimated at about 1700, or 
85,000 yards ; and the gross wages paid to the weavers, at about £ 1445 sterling. Many 
of the persons employed as weavers, are under 20 years of age ; and a fifth of the 
whole are only employed during the winter, preferring field labour during the remainder 
of the year. At Hospital mill, George Moon, Esq., has a mill for spinning tow yarn, 
impelled by a wheel on the Eden, and working, when fully supplied with water, with four- 
teen horse power. The mill has six carding engines, with the necessary preparing 
machinery ; and ten spinning frames, containing 368 spindles. The size of the yarn 
spun is from 41b. to 141b. per spindle. From 160 to 180 tons are spun annually, the 
value of which averages about £7000. The principal market to which it is sent, is 
Dundee. About 50 persons are employed at the work, viz., 7 men, 31 women, and 12 
children. There is also a mill for cleaning yarn, and a saw mill, both moved by water, 
and another saw mill by steam. 

There are extensive lime quarries along the brow of the Cults' hills, for the produce 
of which, owing to its excellent quality, there is a great and increasing demand. The 
quantity of lime sold annually, exceeds 25,000 bolls, three bolls being equal to 16 cwt. 
The value of this, at 2s. 8d. per boll is £3333 : 6 : 8 : sterling. The rent paid by the 
tacksman is regulated by the quantity of rock excavated, but averages about £365 ster- 
ling. About one-third of the quantity produced is shipped at Newburgh for Dundee 
and Perth, whence it is conveyed to various places in Forfarshire and Perthshire. The 
coals for burning the lime are brought from Teases, in Ceres parish, Burnturk, in Kettle, 
and from Kilmux, in the parish of Leven. This work gives employment to about 43 la- 
bourers at the quarry ; and to a great number of carters, who are engaged in driving coals 
to the works, and the lime to the port of Newburgh. There are several free-stone 
quarries in the parish ; but although the stone is easily obtained, and of good quality, 
they are not wrought to any great extent. Coal was wrought in the parish about fifty 
years ago, but has been since neglected, it being doubtful whether it could be wrought 
to any advantage. 

VI. Sir David Wilkie, the most eminent painter of our day, was born in the manse 
of Cults. His father, the Rev. David Wilkie, who was minister of this parish for 38 
years, was of a respectable family in East Lothian, and was nephew to Dr Wilkie, pro- 
fessor of Logic in the University of St Andrews, and author of the Epigoniad. The 
mother of the painter was Miss Isabel Lister, daughter of Mr James Lister, a respect- 
able elder in the parish, and said to have been a person of great sagacity and natural 
talents. Few places can be conceived less likely to have excited an early love either 
for art or poetry, than the bare bleak situation of the manse of Cults ; and yet from his 
earliest infancy, Sir David showed the most ardent love for that art in which he has 
since become so justly celebrated. The opposition of his father and grandfather to his 
pursuing what they considered an idle and unprofitable employment, had no effect in 
repressing his zeal ; and the study of nature, and the exercise of his pencil, seems to 


have been his constant and indefatigable employment during his earl)' years. Many early 
portraits of individuals, executed by him, still exist; they are considered excellent like- 
nesses, and are highly prized by their possessors. Robert Methven, Esq., Cupar, procurator 
fiscal for the county, is in possession of a signboard for an ale-house, painted by Sir David 
when a boy, representing a boy watering a horse, which shows evident marks of genius ; 
and a lady in St Andrews has one of his early pictures, representing a poor family, the 
father sitting in ragged clothes, smoking a pipe by the fire, and his daughter bringing 
in water in a pitcher. Another person possesses a domestic scene, in which the father 
and the mother of the painter are represented at family worship, a beautiful picture, full 
of truth to nature. Of his greatest effort, among his early and unpublished works, " Pit- 
lessie fair," we have already had occasion to speak ; and upon his matured and published 
works, it would be idle to offer any eulogium. They are known and valued, wherever 
art is appreciated or understood. His name as an artist has become co-extensive with 
civilization. Sir David was appointed painter to his Majesty for Scotland, by George 
IV. ; and in 1836, received the honour of knighthood from William IV. Sir David 
Wilkie has ornamented the interior of the church of Cults with a marble mural tablet, 
in memory of his father and mother, which presents medallion likenesses of them, exe- 
cuted by his friend, the celebrated Chantrey. It is beautiful as a work of art, and inter- 
esting as a mark of filial gratitude from the great artist to his honoured parents. The 
Rev. David Wilkie, the artist's father, long minister of this parish, was author of a valu- 
able " Treatise on the Theory of Interest and Annuities ; with an illustration of the 
widows' scheme in the church of Scotland."' 

* For a considerable portion of the Statistics in this notice of the parish of Culls, we are indebted 
to the valuable and accurate account of the parish, drawn up for the " New Statistical account of 
Scotland," by the Rev. Thomas J. Crawford, A. M. formerly minister of the parish, now of Glammis. 




I. The name of this parish has obviously arisen from the circumstance of the church 
having been dedicated to St Cyras or St Seres, a Catholic saint, said to have been of 
the seventh century, and whose festival was held upon the 8th day of June. She was 
the daughter of Eugenius IV. king of Scotland, and sister of St Fiacre, an abbot and 
confessor, who went to France, and was buried near Meaux. The name is variously 
spelt in ancient records, appearing under the form of Siris, Cyres, Cyrus, Cires and 

The parish lies south of Cupar, and east of Cults. The principal portion of the 
parish occupies a beautiful valley to the south of Tarvet hill, with the sides and tops 
of the greater part of the hills which surround it ; the village of Ceres, and the parish 
church standing in the centre of the valley. At the west end, however, a part of 
it, stretching over a shoulder of Tarvet hill, extends north to the river Eden, which 
there forms its boundary ; and at the eastern end, a narrow portion stretches to the 
north-east, till it reaches the parish of St Andrews. The extreme length of the pa- 
rish from Magus, on the borders of St Andrews parish on the east, to Muirhead, on 
the borders of Kettle parish on the west, is 7j miles. Its greatest breadth at the west 
end, from Teases to the river Eden, is four miles ; but the greater portion of the 
parish is only about three miles. East of Pitscottie, however, it narrows greatly, and 
is only from a mile to about half a mile in breadth. It is bounded on the south by the 
parishes of Largo, Kilconquhar, and Cameron ; on the east by those of Cameron, St 
Andrews, and Kemback ; on the north by St Andrews, Kemback, and Cupar ; and 
on the west by Cults, Kettle, and Scoonie. Besides the river Eden, which forms its 
north-western boundary for about a mile and a half, there are several other streamlets 
in the parish. Three of these flowing from the east, one from the south, and one 
from the west, join near the village, and form the water of Ceres, which from its 
thus draining the whole of the high ground which surrounds the valley of Ceres, 
often swells suddenly, after heavy rains, and has on many occasions committed con- 
siderable injury on the adjoining lands, and on the bridges which cross it. Flowing 
through the beautiful den of Dura, this water joins the Eden, near Kemback house. 
There are 15 miles, 530 yards of turnpike roads ; and 9 miles of statute labour roads 
in the parish. The number of houses licensed for the sale of spirituous liquors is 
about 25 ; there is a brewer of small beer in the village of Ceres. 


The parish of Ceres contains five villages, of which two are of considerable extent. 
The village of Ceres is much the largest, and with its church and burying ground, 
is very pleasantly situated on the banks of the burn of that name, in the middle of 
the valley through which it flows. Ceres was a burgh of barony, but the charter is 
either lost, or is probably in the charter chest of the superior. The loss, however, is 
of little consequence, as no doubt the powers it contained were destroyed by the effect 
of the Jurisdiction Act in 1748. The feus of the old portion of the village are held of the 
proprietors of Craighall, who are superiors of the barony; but considerable additions have 
been made to the village, which are held of other superiors. Indeed the suburb of 
Glaidney Cotton is not even in the parish, but in that of Cupar, which here approaches 
to the immediate neighbourhood of the old village. The village contains several 
streets, and is ornamented with several excellent houses, inhabited by some of the 
more wealthy manufacturers. Two annual fairs or markets for wool, corn, horse, and 
cattle, are held in the village of Ceres, — one on the 24th of June, and the other on 
the 20th of October, and both are well attended.* The weavers' friendly society was 
established in this village in 1795. Its members are about 200 in number; and its 
funds amount to about £650, mostly laid out on heritable security, at -1 per cent. 
This society distributes about £60 sterling annually among its sick members. There 
is also a masonic lodge in the parish, called the Ceres St John's, who have a hall in 
which their meetings are held. There is a friendly society in connection with this 
lodge, consisting of about GO members. There is no post office at teres, but a daily 
messenger goes to Cupar, the post town, with letters and parcels. A coach between 
Cupar and Largo passes through the parish daily during summer, and meets the 
steam boat for Edinburgh. There are also regular carriers to all the neighbouring 
towns. Cupar is the nearest market town, but several of the farmers send their pro- 
duce also to St Andrews, Largo, and a few to Dundee. The second village in extent 
is Craigrothie, on the high ground to the south-west of Ceres. Here there is also a 
friendly society established in 1825, the number of members of which is about 60. It 
is in a flourishing condition, ami affords assistance to the members in sickness, and 
occasionally to the widows of members deceased. There is another village at Chance 

* We have heard it sail that Ceres received its charter, and the right to h 1 1 its yearly market 
on the 21th of Juno, the anniversary of the batik- of Bannockburn, in consequi ace 1 t the assistance 
given at that battle by its superior and his vassals, but we have been unable to find any direct evi- 
dence of the fact. It may be observed, however, that Sir Robert Keith, great Marischal of Scot- 
land, proprietor of the barony of Struthers, joined the standard of Bruce, and from his office, had 
command of the horse at the battle, and contributed, in no small degree, l" its successful issue. It is 
not improbable that the lord of Craighall and his vassals may have also been present with the Lint 
Marischal; and that the right of holding a market on the anniversary of that eventful day, may have 
been granted as a reward lor their assistance on t lie occasion. 
VOL. II. - I 


Inn, and another at Pitscottie, both small, and of more recent erection. At Coaltown 
there was at one time a thriving village inhabited by colliers. 

II. The lands of Ceres anciently belonged to a family of the name of Syras of Syras, 
as we find from the Chartulary of Dunfermline, that Sir Michael Scott, ancestor of the 
Scotts of Balweary, who flourished during the reign of William the Lyon, married 
Margaret, daughter of Duncan Syras of that ilk. Up to 1599 we find that the lands 
of Ceres and Craighall, or at least the superiority, formed part of the barony of Strath- 
mMo, belonging to Sir James Scott of Balweary,* the lineal descendant of Sir Michael 
who married the heiress of Syras. The lands and burgh of Ceres afterwards belonged 
to the family of Kinninmond of that ilk, who appear to have purchased them from the 
Scotts, and in the reign of Charles I. f they were acquired by Sir Thomas Hope, king's 
advocate, ancestor of the earls of Hopetoun, the Hopes of Pinkie, of Granton, and 
Rankeillour, &c. They are now the property of William George Hope, Esq. of Ran- 
keillour, M.P. Immediately west of the village is Baltully, the property of James Nor- 
man, Esq. ; and south of it is Woodburn a good house, with well laid out grounds, 
the property of Graham Bower, Esq., the representative of the ancient family of Bower 
of Kennettles and Kincaldrum in Forfarshire. West of Baltully is Craigrothie, the 
property of William Wilson, Esq. North-west is a portion of the lands of Scotstarvet, 
within this parish, belonging to James Wemyss, Esq. of Wemyss-hall ; and on the top 
of the ridge of hills which here divide the valley of Ceres from Stratheden, is the old 
tower of Scotstarvet, the residence of Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet.; North of Scots- 
tarvet, and on the banks of the Eden, is Edenwood, the residence of Sir George Camp- 
bell, originally forming part of the lands of Tarvet. East of Edenwood are the lands 
of Tarvet Mill, the property of Mr James Dingwall ; and east of it, Mayfield, belonging 
to James Horsburgh, Esq. of Lochmalonie. 

Returning to the village of Ceres, and proceeding to the south-east, at the dis- 
tance of about a mile, is Craighall, the property of George William Hope, Esq. M.P. 
The barony of Craighall, like the lands of Ceres, belonged, from the reign of Wil- 
liam the Lyon, till towards the end of the sixteenth century, to the Scotts of Bal- 
weary, in consequence of the marriage of their ancestor, Sir Michael Scott, with the 
heiress of Ceres ; after which it came into possession of the family of Kinninmond ; 
and was acquired about the beginning of the seventeenth centmy, by Sir Thomas 
Hope, ancestor of the present proprietor. Here, in the high ground, above a deep 
and beautifully wooded den, are the ruins of the house of Craighall, erected by, and 
the residence of, Sir Thomas Hope. A view of these splendid ruins is given from 
the" north-west. In this building we have, what was then rare in Scotland, in pri- 
vate mansions, an attempt to combine the graces of Italian architecture with the 

* Page 188. f Sibbald, p. 361. + Sec pp. 4. 3". 



strength then still considered necessary in domestic architecture. The elegant 
mansion had been erected immediately adjoining the old castle of Craighall, which 
is seen in the engraving as forming a wing on the south side of the building. The 
arms of the family still remain emblazoned on the front of the building; and the fol- 
lowing motto, in allusion to the family name, is still distinctly legible, " Spero sus- 
piro dunce." Craighall is now much more dilapidated and destroyed than was to have 
been expected from its age ; but the injury has chiefly been derived from the rude 
hands of man in the absence of former proprietors. The present and late proprietors, 
however, have taken every care to repair and preserve what remains ; and as any 
farther injury to the ruins is strictly guarded against, this relique of the refined taste of 
one of the greatest of our Scottish lawyers, lias every chance of being long preserved. 
In the memory of people yet alive, the garden with its walls still remained, but these 
have now entirely disappeared. On the lintel above the entrance to the garden was 
the following very appropriate inscription, " ^lr^>/.< sed non Briareus esto' In 

the neighbourhood of the mansion house, though not seen in the engraving, the an- 
cient gateway which gave entrance to the court-yard, and the strong tower which de- 
fended it, still remain very entire. South of Craighall is Newbigging of Craighall, for- 
merly part of that estate, and now the property of John A. Thomson, Esq. of Carlton. 
South-west of Ceres, and near the borders of the parish of Cults, is the barony of 
Struthers, called anciently Ochter-other-Struther, and which in the reign of David I., 
who began his reign in 1124, belonged to Radolphus de Ochter-Struther de eodem.* 
It afterwards became the property of the Keith's, great marischals of Scotland, and in 
the reign of Robert II., Sir William Keith, great marischal, with consent of Margaret 
Fraser, his wife, made an excambion of Auchter-other-Struther, west Markineh and 
Pittendreich in Fife, with Sir William Lindsay of Byres.f The house of Struthersj 
now in ruins, then became the residence of the lords Lindsay, and after the accession 
of that branch of the house of Lindsay to the earldom of Crawford, in the person of 
William, second earl of Lindsay, and seventeenth carl of Crawford, it became the 
residence, for a time, of the earls of Crawford. The house of Struthers is described by 
Sibbald, as " a large old house, with gardens, great orchyards, and vast enclosures and 
plantations ;" little of the large old house, with its towers and battlements, now remain, 
the greater portion of the buildings having been taken down, nor has the wood with 
which it was ornamented, been spared. The park around the house, which is enclosed 
with a stone wall, contains about 200 acres of ground. The barony of Struthers, is 
the property of the earl of Glasgow, as heir of the late lady Mary Lindsay Crawford. 
North of Struthers, and between it and Scotstarvet, is Findas, the property of major 
Charles Christie, H. E. I. C. S. 

* Sibbald, p. 562, f Douglas' peerage, Vol. II. p. 1 -7. 


South-eaSt of Struthers, and near the borders of the parish of Largo, is Carskirdo, 
which at the time Sibbald wrote, was the property of Mr John Melville. It afterwards 
came to a family of the name of Halkerston, and by marriage with the heiress, Miss 
Halkerston, was acquired by the present proprietor, captain Kerr. Adjoining Carskirdo 
is Greenside, lately purchased from captain Kerr by William Seivewright, Esq., formerly 
of the island of Jamaica. East of Carskirdo is the barony of Teases, the property of 
Thomas Stark, Esq. Here an elegant modern mansion has been erected, which from 
amid its rising woods, commands an extensive view of the south coast of the county, 
the Frith of Forth, and the opposite coast. About three miles south-east of the village 
of Ceres, and immediately east of Newbigging of Craighall, is South Callange, the pro- 
perty of John Adamson, Esq., manufacturer, Bridgend of Ceres ; and south-east of it is 
Bankhead, the property of the heirs of the late Andrew Peddie, Esq. This property was 
formerly called Arnydie, and was part of the extensive estates acquired by Sir Thomas 
Hope in this parish. Between South Callange and Bankhead, is Blackfauld, the property 
of William Lawson, Esq., of Pitlethie. Proceeding east from South Callange are the lands 
of Baldinny, now the property of five different persons. That portion called Over Bal- 
dinny belongs to James Webster, Esq., writer, Cupar; Nether Baldinny to the heirs of 
Mrs Smith. The remaining part of the lands belong to AVilliam Morgan, Esq., Coats, 
parish of Largo ; the heirs of Thomas Pitcairn ; and the heirs of the late Andrew Peddie, 
Esq., of Bankhead. In a farm-house on these lands, the murderers of archbishop Sharp 
spent the night previous to his murder ; and, according to the account given by Russell, 
one of the assassins, it was the gudewife of Baldinny, who first gave notice to the party 
at that time in search of another person, that the prelate was approaching from Ceres, 
through which village he passed on this his last and fatal journey, towards St Andrews. 
North of South Callange, and west of Nether Baldinny, is North Callange, the pro- 
perty of James Lumsden, Esq., of Lathallan ; and west of it, about a quarter of a mile 
east of the village of Ceres, is Newbigging of Ceres, the property of Mr Thomson of 

West of Newbigging of Ceres, and about two miles west of the village, are the lands 
of Pitscottie, the patrimonial estate of Lindsay of Pitscottie, the graphic and picturesque 
historian of Scotland, who lived during the reigns of James V., and Mary. The lands 
of Pitscottie were afterwards acquired by Sir Thomas Hope. They are now divided : 
wester Pitscottie being the property of John Thorns, Esq. ; and easter Pitscottie of the 
heirs of the late Sir Robert Preston of Valleyfield. South of Pitscottie, and east of 
north Callange is Kinninmond, anciently the property of the Kinninmonds of that ilk, 
a family of great antiquity in the county. They appear for some time to have possessed 
other lands in the parish, which they sold with this their original property to Sir Thomas 
Hope, after which they purchased lands in the parish of Kinglassie. Of this family 
were Matthew Kinninmond, who was bishop of Aberdeen from 1 172, till the close of the 


century; and Alexander de Kinninmond, who was bishop (if the same see from 1329 
to 1344. In 1335, he was one of six ambassadors who were si nil to En 'mil byking 
David II.; and, in 1333, his palace, with the houses of his canons, ami a great part of 
the city of Aberdeen, was burned by the English. Alexander de Kinninmon 1, who \ 
bishop of that see, from 1357 until about 13S6, was also of the same family. He laid 
the foundation of the new cathedral; and was sent by Robert II. to France, to renew 
the ancient league with that kingdom. East of Kinninmond is Laddeda, the property of 
Mr Thomson of Charleton ; and north-east of it, Magus, the property of general Be- 
thune of Bleho, beyond which is Nether Magus, the property of .Miss Hay. 

III. The church of Ceres, previous to the reformation, was a rectory, which, with its 
tiends, belonged to the provostry of Kirkheugh, a religious house in St Andrews. 
Besides the principal altar, there was a chapel or altarage dedicated to St Xinian, the 
patronage of which belonged to the family of Craighall. The present church was built 
on the site of the old one, in 1S06. It stands upon a rising ground between the old 
part of the village and the suburbs of Bridgend and Glaidney Cotton. It is seated for 
1100; but holds about 1300. The seats all belong to the heritors, and no rent is 
charged for their use. A portion of them are appropriated to the heritors and their 
tenants ; and the remainder are free to the other parishioners. The church is in 
general well filled; the number of communicants is about 1000. The present incum- 
bents are the Rev. Joseph Crichton ; and the Rev. John Duncan, assistant and succes- 
sor. The patron is the earl of Glasgow, as representing the family of Crawford. The 
stipend is 16 chalders ; one half meal, and the other half barley; with '111 : 2 : 2 
sterling, in money. There is also a vicarage tiend of 2 lambs, and 1' stones of 
cheese. The manse w r as built in 1788, and has received little repair since that time. 
The glebe consists of seven acres of excellent land. 

There is a chapel in the village in connection with the United Associate S3 nod, v, Inch 
was built in 1744, of which the Rev. Peter Ta\ lor is minister. The number of families 
in connection with this congregation is about 90. The average attendance at public 
worship is about 300, and the number of communicants about 250. There is also a 
chapel in connection with the Relief Synod, built in 1798, the Rev. Daniel Kerr, minis- 
ter. It contains about 5G0 sittings which are let at from is. to lis. per annum. The 
number of entire families connected with this congregation is about 111; besides which 
there are several members belonging to families not connected with it. The average at- 
tendance at public worship is from 360 to 400 ; the number of communicants 260. The 
members, however, do not all belong to the parish, several of them residing in the 
different surrounding parishes. Since the admission of the present incumbent, the 
congregation has been regularly and steadily increasing. The clergymen of both these 
congregations have manses and gardens. 

The parish school-house is in the immediate neigbourhood of the village, and 1 


new and handsome building, finished in 1836. The average number of pupils attending 
it is about 150; but the school-house could comfortably accommodate upwards of 200. 
The schoolmaster has the maximum salary ; and the school fees may amount to about 
£55 per annum. He has no dwelling-house at present; but the heritors contemplate 
building one. He also receives 100 merks Scots yearly, mortified by Sir Thomas 
Hope of Craighall ; and is also entitled to £3 Scots yearly, payable out of houses in 
Cupar ; but this he does not receive in consequence of its not being known where the 
houses are situated which were liable for it. The schoolmaster of Ceres is also presented 
to the chaplainry of St Ninian, and is entitled to the tiends payable to it ; but this is also 
now unproductive from its not being known what lands were liable for them. By a con- 
tract entered into in 1631, between Sir Thomas Hope, on the one part, and lord Lindsay, 
patron of the parish, the heritors thereof, the minister and the kirk session, on the other 
part, Sir Thomas and his heirs, in consequence of the above mortification, obtained the 
right of presenting the schoolmaster, the right of trial, and admission being vested in the 
minister and session. The family of Craighall still claim this right ; but the present 
teacher was appointed in the usual manner by the heritors, minister, and kirk session. 

There is also a school in the village supported by the Secession Congregation ; and 
two female schools. There is another school at the village of Craigrothie ; the school- 
house and dwelling-house for the teacher, were built by subscription, the proprietor of 
Craigrothie having given the ground. From 60 to 70 pupils attend this school. There 
is another school at Baldinny ; and a female school at Third-part. There is a Sunday 
evening school held in the Relief chapel, the juvenile portion of which is superintended 
by young men belonging to the congregation ; and the adult portion by the clergy- 
man. At Craigrothie there is also a Sunday evening school, kept in the school-house 

The average number of poor on the roll is about 50, and the yearly sum expended 
by the session is £120 sterling. The funds for their support are derived from the col- 
lections at the church door, amounting to £60 per annum ; the dues on registration 
of marriages, &c. ; the rent of four acres of land ; and the interest of £460 sterling, 
left by Miss Halkerston of Carskirdo, and lent out at 4 per cent. There is no regular 
assessment, but the heritors to supply any deficiency, make a voluntary assessment on 
themselves every year. 

IV. The population of this parish, in 1755, was 2540; in 1793, it was 2320; in 
1801, 2352 ; in 1811, 2407 ; in 1821, 2840 ; and in 1831, 2740. There is an apparent 
lessening of the population between 1821, and 1831, which was not real ; and which 
was attributed in the returns to government, to the giving up of coal-works which had been 
wrought in the parish. The fact was, however, that the return of 1821 had been made 
too high, the population of a part of the parish of Cupar, which approaches near the 
village, having been inadvertently included in that return. Notwithstanding, therefore, 
the giving up of the coal-works, the population had really increased in 1831 ; and indeed 


there has been a regular and steady increase of the population, ever since 1801. It is 
now supposed to amount to about 3000. The following is the analysis of the govern- 
ment return in 1831. 

Males 20 years of age, 635 ; total males, 1267 ; females, 1 t95; total, 2762. 

Families chiefly employe 1 in agriculture, I s '! ; ditto chiefly employed in trade, manufactures, an 1 

handicraft, 281 ; all other families, 1 !_; total families, 606. 
Persons occupying land employing labourers, S3 ; ditto nol employing labourers, L2; labourers 

employed in agriculture, 158. 
Persons employed in manufacture, 186; ditto in retail trade or handicraft, as master or workmen, 

1 : labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 61. 
Capitalists, professional, or other educated men, IS ; all other males 20 years of age (except 

servants) 26. 
Male servants 20 years of age, '■', ; under 20 years, 1 ; female servants, ; 1. 

V. The soil of the parish is very varied. In the north-west part of the parish, on 
the banks of the Eden, it is light and sandy, lying chiefly upon freestone . But 

the greater portion of the parish is a deep cold earth, lying upon whinstonc rock, upon 
limestone rock, or upon clay till. Near the village of Ceres, it is a free earth, lying 
upon gravel. There are altogether about 8000 acres of land in the parish, of which 
about four-tenths arc in tillage, five-tenths in pasture, and one-tenth planted or muir- 
land. The muirland is very trifling ; the mouses and muirs mentioned in the first Sta- 
tistical Account, having now almost all been rendered arable. This has bee i 
by draining and liming, which has been extensi\ ely practised, and for which the farmers 
have every facility in this parish, from the number of stone and lime quarries that have 
been opened in it. The extent of the farms vary from 40 to 365 Scotch acres. The 
average rent is £1 10s. per acre. The value of real property for which the parish was 
assessed in 1815, was £12,753 sterling; the valued rent i- ti 2 18 : 1 : 1 Scotch. The 
gross agricultural produce may be estimated at about 20,000 bolls of corn, and about 
15,000 bolls of potatoes. Of the grain crop, about one half is oats, and one-fourth 
wheat, and the remaining fourth barley. About -100 acres arc in turnips annually ; and 
from 60 to 100 acres in pease. The modern system of eating off turnips with sheep 
has only been adopted in one instance in this parish, the land being considered in ge- 
neral too wet to admit of this being generally adopted with advantage. About ninety 
years ago, when the parish abounded in muirs, twenty flocks v. ere kept in it. Pork, 
to the value of about £1000 per annum, is sent from Ceres to the London market. The 
pigs are not all reared in the parish, but are purchased from all the surroundinj 
rishes. There are three meal mills in the parish, moved by water ; one at Craigrothie, 
one at Ceres, and one at Newbigging of Craighall ; and there is another at Greenside, 
moved by the wind. There are 37 threshing machines in the parish, six id' which are 
moved by water power, two by steam, one by wind, and the remaining 28 by horse 


power. The number of ploughs in the parish is 130 ; at the time the first Statistical 
Account was published, there were only 90. 

The linen manufacture is carried on to a considerable extent, there being eight indi- 
viduals or companies engaged in it. The principal goods manufactured are dowlas and 
sheeting ; the value of which yearly is about £50,000 sterling. The number of looms 
in the parish is about 500, but some of the manufacturers send their yarn to Falkland 
and other places to be woven. There are three mills in the parish for spinning linen 
yarn. Two of these at Pitscottie were erected in 1827, by Messrs J. and W. Yool. 
They arc impelled by a water wheel, which works in winter with 30 horse power, and 
which in summer, when the water is lighter, is assisted by a steam engine of eight horse 
power. These mills have 30 spinning frames, containing 1060 spindles, and throw off 
2300 spindles of yarn weekly, or 119,600 spindles yearly. The yarns spun are 3 lb. 
lint, and from 5 lb. to 8 lb. tow. There are 76 persons, men, women, and children, 
employed here. The other mill, which is at Tarvet, was erected by David Yool, Esq. 
in 1799, and during the time he had it, was worked partly by the water of the Eden, 
and partly by steam. It is now in the possession of Mr James Dingwall. The water 
wheel works with 12 horse power, and the mill contains about 400 spindles. The yarns 
spun are 3 lb. lint, and from 3 lb. to 7 lb. tow. There are two bleachfields for bleach- 
ing linen yarn. At the one of these, near the bottom of Craighall den, belonging to 
the St Anns' bleaching company, about 300 tons of flax and tow yarns are bleached 
annually, and about 40 persons employed ; at the other, situated at Ceres bridgend, and 
belonging to the Messrs Yools, 2S8 tons of yarn are annually bleached, and 33 persons 
are employed. At the St Anns bleachfield, the necessary machinery is worked by a 
water wheel of 3 horse power ; at the other there is a small steam engine of 5 horse 

There are four lime quarries regularly wrought in the parish 1. The Tequhats lime 
which is worked by tirring. It is 11 feet 6 inches thick, and dips to the south-east 
about 1 fathom in 4. Six men are usually employed in the quarry. 2. The Woodtop 
quarry, or Teases middle limestone, also worked by tirring. It is 10 feet thick, and 
has been worked for about 30 years. From 10 to 15 men are usually employed there. 
Considerable quantities of this lime are shipped at the adjoining ports. 3. The Teases 
white limestone quarry. The rock here is 10 feet 6 inches thick, very compact and 
difficult to work. Originally it was worked by tirring, but for the last 32 years it has 
been worked by mining. The pillars are 6 feet thick, and 10 feet is excavated be- 
tween them. Eight men are usually employed. About 4000 bolls of this limestone 
are turned out yearly. 4. At Laddeda, where the rock is 1 1 feet thick, and wrought 
by tirring. From 8 to 10 men are here employed. Limestone was also worked at 
Craighall, where a tliin seam of coal was found under it. It was attempted to carry on 
the work, by mining under the trap-hill, but it was soon found that the limestone was 
in broken masses, full of fissures, filled with ferruginous decomposed trap, and so much 


altered as to be unfit for use. The roof, too, though composed of firm shale, could not 
be supported, from the shattered state of the limestone left for pillars, it was in con- - 
quence speedily abandoned. Coal exists in all parts of the parish to the south of the 
water of Ceres ; but now it is only wrought at Teases, on the southern boundary of 
the parish. Freestone is abundant on the north side of the parish ; and whinstone on 
the south. Of the latter there are several quarries which are valuable for building, and 
for supplying the roads with metal. There is a quarry at Pitscottie, from which se- 
veral of the feuars in Ceres have a right to take stones free, for the purpose of build- 
ing. There are quarries at Kinninmoml and at Craigrothie. 

VI. Besides the eminent individuals we have already had occasion to mention, as 
connected with this parish, viz., Sir Thomas Hope, the greatest lawyer of his time, 
Lindsay of Pitscottie, the historian, and the three Kinninmonds, who were bishops of 
Aberdeen, several other individuals conspicuous for their learning, station, or abilities, 
have been connected with it. Sir John Hope of Craighall, the eldest son of Sir Thomas, 
was admitted a lord of session in 1632; and was sworn a privy-counsellor in 1654. 
Sir Thomas Hope of Kerse, the second son, was appointed a lord of session and lord- 
justice-general, in 16 11. Sir Alexander Hope of Grantoun, the third son, was cup- 
bearer to Charles I.; and Sir James Hope of Hopetoun, the fourth son, was also 
appointed a lord of session in 1649, and was named by parliament one of the commit- 
tee of estates, a commissioner for public accounts, and for revising the laws. 

John, first lord Lindsay of the Byres, was a privy-counsellor to king James II., and 
justiciary of Scotland, north of the Forth, in 1 157. 1 1 is fifth son, Sir Walter Lindsay, 
was "well beseen and practised in wars in Spain and Italy," and often fought in com- 
pany with the knights of Rhodes against the Turks. lie was preceptor of Torphichcn 
and lord St John. Patrick, the fourth Lord Lindsay, whose defence of his bn 
David, the second lord, has been already mentioned, accompanied James I\ . on his 
fatal expedition to England, in 1513. lie was chosen president of the council held pre- 
vious to the battle of Flodden ; and irritated the king by his advice on that occasion. 
He deprecated the hazarding the king's person in battle, and counselled his being re- 
moved with some of the lords to a secure distance ; on which the king declaring his 
intention to fight against England, vowed to hang lord Lindsay over his own gate on 
his return. John, fifth lord Lindsay, was appointed an extraordinary lord of session 
in 1541 ; was present at the death of James V. in 15 12, and was one of the four noble- 
men to whom the charge of the youn i Mary was committed. He was principal 
commander at Ancrum muir, in loll, when the lv I I on, 
were defeated; and died in November, 1603, as appears from his tomb-stone, still to 
be seen in Ceres church-yard. Patrick, the sixth lord, exhibited great zeal for the re- 
formation ; but is chiefly remarkable for the brutality of his conduct to the unfortunate 
queen Mary. 

vol. ir. 2 k 


John, tenth Lord Lindsay, was created Earl of Lindsay in 1G33 ; and in 1G41 was ap- 
pointed a commissioner of the treasury, and an extraordinary Lord of Session. On the 
forfeiture of Ludovick, fourteenth Earl of Crawford in 1G44, his title and estate was con- 
ferred on the Earl of Lindsay. He was appointed High Treasurer of Scotland the same 
year, and was next year chosen President of the Parliament. He opposed the introduction 
of episcopacy into Scotland by Charles II:, but afterwards resigning the public offices lie held, 
spent the remaining part of his life in retirement. John, eighteenth Earl of Crawford, when 
lie returned from the continent in 1723, where he had been completing his education, is said 
to have been one of the most accomplished gentlemen of his age. He entered the army 
in 1726, and was elected a representative of the Scottish peerage in 1732, and again at the 
elections in 1734, 1741, and 1747. In 1733 he was appointed gentleman of the bed- 
chamber to the Prince of Wales. He obtained the King's permission to join as a volunteer 
the army of the Emperor of Germany, who was then at war with France, which he did in 
1735. He fought at the battle of Claussen ; but left the army on a peace being agreed to, 
and returned to Britain, where he remained for two years. Having again received the royal 
permission, he resolved to serve as a volunteer in the Russian army, then engaged in a war 
with the Turks. He accordingly went to Petersburgh in 1738, when he received the 
command of a regiment of horse, and the rank of general in that service. Joining the 
army under Marshal Munich, he served during the remainder of the campaign, and was 
present during several engagements. Next year, on the opening of the campaign, he 
joined the army of the Imperialists, who were also engaged in the war with the Turks, 
and was at the battle of Krotzka, near Belgrade, fought on the 22d of July. In this en- 
gagement he had his horse killed under him ; and was himself severely wounded in the 
thigh. This wound caused him many years of suffering, and never was completely healed. 
In 1743, although still lame, and unable to walk without the aid of a crutch, he joined the 
British army under Field-marshal Stair, was present at the battle of Dittcngen, where he 
commanded the brigade of life-guards, and behaved with great coolness and intrepidity. 
In this battle he made a very narrow escape, a musket bullet having gone through his 
holster case, but fortunately striking the barrel of the pistol, had dropt into the holster. In 
1745, he was with the army under the Duke of Cumberland, acting as Brigadier-general, 
and was present at the battle of Fontenoy, of which he wrote an excellent account. He was 
raised to the rank of Major-general in May following. In 174G he returned to Scotland 
and had the command of G000 Hessians, who secured the passes to the Lowlands ; while 
the Duke of Cumberland proceeded after the rebels to the north. After the suppres- 
sion of the rebellion, in the same year, he joined the army in the Netherlands, and was 
present at the battle of Rocoux. 

In 1747 he attained the rank of lieutenant-general, and had the command of the Royal 
Scots Greys. Upon the opening of the campaign in 1748, he joined the Duke of Cum- 
berland and the confederate army, and remained with them till the conclusion of the peace. 
In 1749 he commanded the embarkation of the British troops at Williamstadt, after which 


he returned to London in consequence of the breaking out of his wound. There he died 
at the close of the same year, after severe suffering, in the LSth year of his age. The 
bodies of this brave soldier and that of his countess, lie in leaden coffins in the old mausi - 
leum of the family, in Ceres' church-yard. 

Thomas Buchanan, provost of Kirkheugh, and minister of Ceres immediately after the 
reformation, was nephew of the learned George Buchanan the historian. He was a man 
of great learning and ability, and of considerable influence in the church. He was pre- 
viously a regent in the college of St Salvator, at St Andrews, and afterwards master of 
the grammar school of Stirling. Mr Thomas Halyburton, minister of Ceres, and after- 
wards professor of divinity at St Andrews, was much esteemed both as a divine and a 
scholar, and was the author of several works of learning. 



I. This parish lies immediately east of Cupar, and north of the parish of Kemback. The 
principal portion of it occupies the summit, and southern and northern slopes of the range 
of hills which form the northern boundary of the valley of the Eden ; while near the centre 
a small part of it stretches south to that river which divides it from the parish of Kemback. 
At its north boundary it is three and a quarter miles in length from east to west ; but at 
the south it is not above one and a half miles long in the same direction. Its breadth from 
north to south is equally irregular. For about a mile and a half near the centre of the 
parish its breadth is about two miles ; but at the east and west ends it varies from a mile 
to half a mile in breadth On the south it is bounded by the parish of Kemback, and 
Leuchars ; on the east by Leuchars ; on the north by Leuchars, Logic, and Kilmany ; 
and on the west by Cupar. There are two miles 55 yards of turnpike road ; and two miles 
1035 yards of statute labour roads in the parish. The principal village is that of Osna- 
burgh or Dairsiemuir, which is of recent erection ; and is situated on the high road from Cu- 
par to Dundee. Besides this village there are two small hamlets, one called Middle-Foodie, 
and the other Foodieash. Middle-Foodie is situated in the centre of the parish, and Foodicash 
at its western boundary, adjoining the parish of Cupar. They are both built on feus from the 
estate of Foodie. Cupar, about two miles distant, is the nearest market town ; and with 
it, and with Dundee, there is constant access by the various coaches which pass daily be- 
tween Edinburgh and Dundee. The Dundee carriers pates through the village regularly 
on their way to and from Cupar, and there is a weekly carrier every Thursday to the latter 
town. At Osnaburgh there is a penny post office subordinate to the post office at Cupar. 
II. The lands of Dairsie, which lie on the south side of the parish, and on the north 
bank of the Eden, were anciently held by the Dairseys of that ilk, under the bishops of St 
| Andrews; the office of bailies and admirals of the regality of St Andrews being also held 
by them. This family ended in an heiress, who marrying a younger son of Learmonth of 
Ercledon in Berwickshire, brought to him the lands of Dairsie, and the heritable offices 
attached to them. This family of Learmonth are understood to have been descended from 
Thomas the Rhymer, the earliest of our Scottish poets, who flourished during the reign of 
Alexander III., and who, according to Sir "Walter Scott, was the author of the metrical 
romance of Sir Tristrem, published by him from an ancient MS. In a note to his intro- 
duction to the romance, Sir Walter says that " in removing and arranging some ancient 
papers, lodged in the offices of the Clerks of Session, the following genealogical memoir 
was discovered, among many writings belonging to the family of Learmonth of Balcomy, 


which is now extinct. It is in the hand writing of the 17th century. ' The genealogy 
of the honourable and ancient Sirname of Leirmont. Leirraont beares Or, on a chevron, 
S, three mascles voided of the first ; the name is from France. The chief of the name 
was the laird of Ersilmont in the Merse, whose predecessor, Thomas Leirmonth (lived) in 
the reigne of K. Alexander III. He foretold his death. One of whose sons married .land 
de.Darsie, and had the lands of Darsie in Fife, be that marriage ; the contract is yet extant 
confirmed be the king. The house of Darsie bear a rose in base for difference. It is now 
extinct ; only Leirmont of Balcomie in Fife, is chief now ; whose predecessor was master of 
howshold to King James IV. His predecessor was the eldest son of Darsie, and took to 
hims'elfe the estate of Balcomie, leaving Darsie to the second brother. Upon this account, 
Balcomie is holden of the King, and Darsie of the Archbishop of St Andrews; so Balcomie 
bears the simple coat without the rose in base, since the distinction of Dairsie. 

They have been famous, learned, gool and great ; 
Which Maronean style could never rate.' " 

In this younger branch of the family of Learmonth, the lands of Dairsie, with the 
. heritable offices, continued till they were acquired by Lord Lindsay of the Byres in the 
reign of James VI. 

The lands were afterwards purchased during the reign of Charles I., by John Spottiswoode 
archbishop of St Andrews; but the heritable offices remained with the family of Lindsay, after 
they became carls of Crawford, until the abolition of heritable jurisdictions in 1 7 1^. Arch- 
bishop Spottiswoode became very obnoxious to the presbyterians, from the exertions he 
made for the introduction of episcopacy into Scotland ; but he was a great favourite with 
James VI. and Charles I. lie was admitted an extraordinary Lord of Session in L610 ; 
and was appointed Lord High Chancellor of Scotland 1635. As archbishop of St Andrews, 
he had the honour of crowning Charles I. at Holyrood in 1033. He retired to England 
in L638, in consequence of his fears of personal violence, during the opposition made 
to the introduction of the liturgy, and died there in December IChVJ, having been excom- 
municated by the general assembly a i'vw days previously. He was a man of' great genius, 
learning, and prudence; but he was thrown upon evil times, and suffered much affliction 
towards the close of his life. He was the author of " the History of the Reformation of 
the church of Scotland," of which three editions have been published, the last in 1 (>77- 
, The archbishop's eldest son Sir John Spottiswoode succeeded to the tate of Dai sie, 
and was one of the gentlemen of the bed-chamber to James VI. His only son Mr John 
Spottiswoode was a firm adherent of Charles I. lie was a young man of great talent and 
bravery, and having joined Montrose was taken with him, tried, condemned, and exe- 
cuted for high treason in lli."JD. Sir Robert Spottiswoode the archbishop's second son was 
appointed a privy councillor, and in L622 an extraordinary Lord of Session, under the title 
of Lord Newabby. In 1626 he was appointed an ordinary Lord of S ission ; and in 1633 

* Scott's Poetical Works, vol. v. p. 5. 


he was appointed Lord President of the court. About the same time he was named a com- 
missioner for the valuation of ticnds, and a member of the commission to survey the laws. 
As like his father he was obnoxious to the covenanters, on their rising he tied into England, 
where he remained till the king's second visit to Scotland, when he returned. In 1643 
he was appointed secretary of state, and as such, passed the commission appointing Mon- 
trose to be his majesty's lieutenant in Scotland, with which he instantly proceeded to the 
north and delivered it to Montrose. He was taken prisoner shortly after the battle of 
Philiphaugh, and carried to St Andrews, where he was tried for high treason, found guilty 
and condemned. He was accordingly beheaded on the l(3th Jany. 1040, at the market 
cross of that city. 

In consequence of the misfortunes which overtook the archbishop's family, the estate of 
Dairsie was sold, and purchased by a family of the name of Morrison. The following 
occurrence as related by Lamont in which a laird of Dairsie of this family was concerned, 
gives a wretched idea of the state of society in Scotland at the period, "1655, Nov. 21st. — 
Mr Jhone Sieus laird of Kembocke in Fife, was found dead att the water syde of Eden, in 
the place called the Haugh, neare to Erdries lodging. The most pairt of the day before 
lie was drinking ale and strong waters at George TrumbeH's house in Cuper, neare the 
tolbooth, with Sir George Moresone, laird of Dairsie, Achannachie, the laird of Mount, 
and divers others."* Sir George Morrison married Agnes, daughter of Robert sixth lord 
Boyd; and his succesor Sir John Morrison married Nicholas daughter of Sir George 
Bruce of Carnock ancestor of the Earls of Elgin. The estate of Dairsie, with the 
lands of Foodie, Todhall, Chapelwell, and Newmiln, subsequently became the property 
of the right honourable the Earl of Elgin, by whom they were sold to the late General 
Scott of Balcomy. His daughter, then Marchioness of Titchfield, now Duchess of Portland, 
sold the whole in 1801 to Sir James Gibson Craig, then Mr Gibson, who in 1808 sold 
Dairsie to Henry Trail, Esq. It is now the property of his daughter, the right honourable 
Henrietta Eliza Erskine, wife of the right honourable Thomas Erskine, one of the judges 
of the court of Common Pleas ; and a younger son of the late Lord Erskine, Lord High 
Chancellor of England in 1806. 

The old castle of Dairsie was anciently a place of considerable consequence, and during 
the reign of David II. was, from its strength and retired situation, selected by the regents 
of the kingdom as the seat of a parliament, which met in 1335, from which much good 
to the country was expected; but, which, from the mutual animosities- among the nobles, 
ended in no beneficial result. In the year 1575, says Sir James Balfour in his annals, 
" Lord Thone Hamilton," son of the Duke of Chatelherault, " ryding to Aberrothocke, 

* Diary p. 94. — The kirk session of Cupar as appears from the following entry in their records 
seem to have considered it their duty to enquire into this matter. "1655, Nov. 25th. — Anent the 
accident yt befell the laird of Kemback, the persones formerlie appointed to try, did report yt Kem- 
back came to Georg Trumbles house twixt 6 and 7 at night, and tarried till 8 hours, being in the 
companie Sir Georg Morrison, Achnanok, Mount, Andrew Dick, brother to Darsie, Peter Clerke, 
and Georg Knox, the session referrs to the presbetrie q' is further to be done, seing the s d gentlemen 
are not of this paroch, except Achnannok, latlie resident, but now in the north." 


accompanied onlie with his ordinary traine, (for he held himselffe secured by the pacifica- 
tion,) was persewed by William Douglas of Lochlewin, quho did lay with a number in his 
way, of intention to kill him, as ho was refreshing himselffe at Coupar; hot being adver- 
tised of the danger he escaped to the house of Darsey, quher he was receaved. Lochle- 
win belayed the housse all that night and to-morrow, untill a herauld of amies, from the 
counsell, sutnond him to dii oh i his forces ; for which insolency, and ref 
the peace, he excepting still the murder of his brother the Earle of Murray, the Regent; 
hot he was committed to the castle of Edinburgh, quher he remained till surety 
was given."' The castle which was considerably enlarged and improved, if not altogether 
rebuilt by Archbishop Spottiswoode, is beautifully situated upon the summit of 
a high bank above the river Eden. It is greatly delapidated and di ; t a portion 

of it is still nearly of the original height; and what remains is n ,cd 

by the proprietors, The bank is also ornamented lod, and the neigh- 

bourhood of the old building with flowers and shrubbery. A short distance from the 
castle the Archbishop erected a church for the use of t i !i. It is an elegant build- 

ing, with beautiful pointed windows, and a handsome spire rising from the south-west cor- 
ner ; it is still in good preservation, has lately undergone considerable repairs, and forms 
the present parish church. Both these buildings are seen in the accompanying engrav- 
ing, the view being taken from the low ground to the south, on the opposite bank of the 
river Eden. Archbishop Spottiswoode also built a bridge across the Eden at this pla 
which though narrow is still a useful and handsome structure. 

In the north-west part of the parish, on the high ground, is Eoodie, the property of 
Joint Small, Esq. At the commencement of the seventeenth century, it was the pro- 
perty of Sir James Hay of Kingask, son of Peter Hay of Melginch, ancestor of the earls 
of Kinnoul. Sir James Hay had a son, Sir James, who being introduced at court, be- 
came one of the numerous favourites of James VI. He accompanied that monarch to 
England in L603 ; and hid a grant of the name and title of Lord Hay, but without a seat 
in parliament. In 1615 he was advanced to the English peerage, by the title of Lord 
Hay of Sauley, in Yorkshire; and the following year was ambassador to France. He was 
afterwards sworn a privy councillor; and in lb'13 was created Viscount Doncaster. In 
1619 he went ambassador extraordinary to the emperor, Ferdinand II.; went again in 
Ki22 to France as ambassador ; and was created Earl of Carlisle the same year. He held the 
office of keeper of the great wardrobe from 1616 till his death; was groom of the stole 
to James VI. ; and invested with the order of the garter. Under Charles I. he was < on- 
tinned in his offices, and obtained a grant of the island of Barbadoes. Lord ( llarendon * 
gives the following account of this nobleman. " He came into England with King .lames 
as a gentleman ; under no other character than as a person well qualified by his breeding 
in France, and by study in humane learning; in which he bore a good part in the enter- 
tainment of the king, who much delighted in that exercise; and by these means and not- 
able gracefulness in his behaviour and affability, in which he excelled, he had wrought him- 

* Hist. Rebel, vol. I. p. 48. 


self into a particular interest with his master, anil into greater affection and esteem with 
the whole English nation than any other of his country ; by choosing their friendships and 
conversation, and really preferring it to any of his own ; insomuch as, upon the King's 
making him gentleman of his bed-chamber, and Viscount Doncaster, by his royal media- 
tion he obtained the sole daughter and heiress of the Lord Denny to be given him in 
marriage ; by which he had a fair fortune in land provided for any issue he should raise, 
and which his son by that lady lived long to enjoy. He was surely a man of the greatest 
expense in his own person of any in the age he lived ; and introduced more of that ex- 
pense in the excess of clothes and diet than any other man ; and was indeed the original 
of all those inventions from which others did but transcribe copies. He had a great uni- 
versal understanding, and could have taken as much delight in any other way, if he had 
thought any other as pleasant and worth his care. But he found business w r as attended 
with more rivals and vexations, and he thought with much less pleasure and not more in- 
nocence. He left behind him the reputation of a very fine gentleman, and a most accom- 
plished courtier ; and after having spent, in a very jovial life, above £400,000, which, upon 
a strict computation, he received from the crown, he left not a house nor acre of land to 
be remembered by." The extravagance and voluptuous style of living of the Earl of 
Carlisle is mentioned by other writers of the period ; and as an instance, Osborne tells that 
he "cannot forget one of the attendants of the king, that a feast, made by this monster in 
excess, eat to his single share a whole pye, reckoned to my lord at ten pounds, being 
composed of ambergreece, magisterial of pearl, musk, &c." The lands of Foodie were 
sold by the Earl to Henry Wemyss, fourth son of Sir David Wemyss of Wemyss, 
whose descendants possessed them till the middle of last century. Afterwards they be- 
came the property of the Earl of Elgin, by whom they were sold, with the lands of 
Dairsie, to the late General Scott, whose daughter, the duchess of Portland, sold them, 
in 180], to Sir James Gibson Craig, by whom they were sold, in 1S05, to the late Alex- 
ander Christie, Esq., from whom they came to the present proprietor. 

East of Foodie, and north of Dairsie, is Todhall, the property of the Trustees of the 
late James Cheape, Esq., of Strathtyrum, was formerly part of the estate of Dairsie. It 
was purchased from the Earl of Elgin by the late General Scott, and was sold by his 
daughter the Duchess of Portland to Sir James Gibson Craig, who sold it in 1805 to the 
late George Aitken, Esq., and David Todd, Esq. Mr Todd afterwards sold his share to 
Mr Aitken, who afterwards sold the whole to Mr Cheape. North of Todhall is Fingask, 
formerly the property of a family of the name of Wemyss, now of Samuel Henderson Som- 
mcrville, Esq. East of Todhall, and on the same range of hills, is Wester Craigfoodie, 
the property of William Fortune, Esq. ; and east of it Craigfoodie, the property of 
David Meldrum, Esq., formerly belonging to a family of the name of Bethune ; and east 
of this on the eastern border of the parish, is Pitormie, belonging to John Meldrum, Esq. 
Returning to Dairsie, and proceeding to the west, are the lands of Chappelwcll, formerly 
part of the estate of Dairsie, but which were sold, in 1S05, by Mr Gibson, now Sir James 
Gibson Craig, then proprietor of Dairsie, to Messrs James Kyd, Andrew Christie, and 


David Todd, by whom they were again sold, in L809, to the late Henry Trail. Esq. ol 
Dairsie. Chappelwell is now tin- property of his daughter, the Hon. Mrs Krskine. Wesl 
of Chappelwell are the lands of Newmiln, sold by Sir Janus Gibson Craig, in L803, to 
Mr M illiam Bayne, the present proprietor. 

III. The population of this parish, in 1801, was 550; in 1811, it was 553; in L821, 
589; and, in 1831, 605. The following is the analysis of the census, in 1831. 

.Males above 20 years of age, 160 ; total males, 283 ; females, 322 ; total population, G05. 
Families chiefly employed in agriculture, 70; ditto in manufactures and handicraft, 72; all 

other families, 17; total families, 159. 
Persons occupying land, employing labourers, 11; ditto, not employing labourers, 4 ; labourers 

employed in agriculture, 70. 
Persons employed in manufacture, 31 ; ditto in retail trade or handicraft, as master or workman, 

33; labourers employed in labour, not agricultural, 3. 
Professional or other educated men, 3; other males 20 years of age, not included in any of 

these (except servants) .o. 
Male servants under 20 years of age, 2 ; female servants, 29. 

IV. The church of Dairsie belonged anciently to the priory of St Andrews. It is 
seated for 319; the average attendance is 270 ; the number of communicants 200. The 
present incumbent is the Rev. Alexander M 'Arthur ; the patron is William Innes, Esq. 
Sandside, who we believe purchased it for the Anti-patronage Society. The stipend is 
12 bolls wheat; 60 bolls 3 pecks meal; 98 bolls 3 pecks barley; 18 bolls oats; and 
£55 : 7 : 1 sterling in money. There is an excellent manse near the church ; and a glebe 
of about six acres. There is no dissenting chapel in the parish, but there are fifteen families 
of dissenters who attend the chapels in Cupar and Ceres. 

The parish school is situated near Middlefoodie, north of the village of Dairsie Muir 
or Osnaburgh. The teacher has the maximum salary, with a garden of the legal 
extent. He has also a school-room, and dwelling-house; but they arc neither of them 
what they ought to be. The usual branches of education are taught with the addition 
of music. The fee for English reading is 2s. per quarter; for reading with writing, 
2s. (id. ; and for reading, writing, and arithmetic, 3s. per quarter. The average at- 
tendance of pupils in these branches is about eighty. Mr Bruce, the present teacher, 
has since his admission to the parish opened a class to the parishioners, in which he 
teaches psalmody gratis ; this class has been well attended, and considering the period 
it has been open, very successful. There is a female school at the village of Osna- 
burgh; and a small school has also been lately established at Foodieash under the 
patronage of lady Foulis. 

The number of poor on the ordinary roll is fourteen; and the amount of money dis- 
tributed among them from £36 to 640 Sterling annually. About four individuals re- 
ceive occasional assistance; and among them, with additional assistance given on 
occasions to the regular paupers, about Chi Sterling is distributed. The sources from 
which the necessary funds are obtained, are the collections at the church door; the 
VOL. II. - '- 


rent of land and interest of money belonging to the Session ; and a voluntary assess- 
ment by the heritors to make up the deficiency. 

V. It may well be said of this parish that throughout its whole extent, even to the 
very summits of the hills, it is cultivated like a garden. The parish contains about 
2306 imperial acres ; of which there are forty-four in wood, and only about fifteen 
which can be considered waste-land. About 1000 acres are annually in corn crop, in- 
cluding beans and pease ; about one-sixth of the whole in turnips and potatoes ; and upon 
an average under one-twelfth in summer fallow. The number of horses kept is about 
100, their value is about £1700; and the number of cattle 300, their value £2400 
Sterling. The rent of land is chiefly paid by the fiar price of grain ; but it may be 
averaged at about £2 the imperial acre. The total rental of the parish may therefore 
be calculated at upwards of £4400 Sterling. The amount of real property for which 
the parish was assessed in 1815, was £4S27 Sterling. The valued rent is £3116 : 6 : 8 
Scots. There are ten threshing machines in the parish ; one of which is worked by 
steam power, two by water power, and the others by horses. There are two corn 
mills, and one barley mill all impelled by water. 

In the villages there are a few weavers who are employed by the manufacturers of 
Cupar in the manufacture of coarse linens ; but there is no manufacturer carrying on 
business on his own capital. There are, however, two spinning mills on the banks of 
Eden, impelled by water power ; one at Newmiln, and the other at Lydia-miln at the 
south-east extremity of the parish. The one at Newmiln is at present receiving a 
very extensive enlargement of its buildings and consequent increase of its machinery. 
There is here also a saw-mill, moved bv the water of the Eden. 





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